To be truly honest about it, I haven’t done a feature count on everything packed into MacPilot, but the company’s claim of unlocking more than 1,200 features seems legit. Any list beyond a few hundred would still make it a worthy utility.
What MacPilot does is let Mac users who don’t know any better get all down and geeky on their bad selves by unlocking a growing list of options that Apple includes in OS X and various Mac apps, but chooses to leave unlocked. MacPilot unlocks them. For a price.
Finder, Maintenance, Tools, Oh My!
Let me attempt to cover all the basics in MacPilot, those sections of features which can be turned on (or, off; it works both ways) with little effort or risk. For example, MacPilot puts a GUI onto a number of Unix tools which normally would be reserved for Mac users comfortable with Terminal and the command line interface.
The interface is typical Mac, almost Photos or iTunes-like in simplicity with all at the basic sections in the left sidebar of the app, and the details and settings for each in the main window. Here’s a sample.
Maintenance – Here you can run cron utilities, reclaim memory, rotate logs, and do those utilitarian maintenance items once reserved for Terminal and pedigree, certified, bona fide Mac geeks.
Finder – Here you can display the elusive Quit menu, toggle Finder animations, show hidden files in the Finder, and even change settings so the screensaver becomes the Desktop.
The Dock – The Dock is, like the Finder, something we love to hate, but you’d be surprised at the number of little Dock settings Apple installed into OS X and then didn’t bother to tell anyone they were there. For example, show only open apps, add spacers between apps; that kind of thing.
MacPilot also unlocks a number of settings that Apple placed into various applications, including iTunes, Safari, QuickTime, Preview, and other common tools. Here’s a sample.
Safari – One of my favorites is the option to disable spell checking, change the default User Agent String (it doesn’t ‘stick’ in the Safari menus, add a ‘Starts With…’ option to replace ‘Contains’ in the Find on Page setting, and more.
iTunes – You’ll love this. Half star ratings. Why doesn’t Apple make that easy in iTunes?
Login Window – Here’s a good one. Enable a startup delay. Change the Welcome message text.
You get the idea, right? Even better, MacPilot has a trial try-before-you-buy version available so you can check it out before the purchase. How does the app compare to the free trio of Onyx, Maintenance, and Deeper which do much the same thing? They’re comparable, but MacPilot has a larger list.