They say you are what you read. If so, the more we read from a variety of sources should make us well informed creatures, right? You’ve also heard it said that unlike iPhone or iPad, the Mac is a complicated beast.
How do you keep track of all that a Mac has going on behind the scenes and under the hood? Think of it. Multi-core CPUs, memory, storage, fans, screens, connected devices, Wi-Fi, internet connection, and more. In reality, most of us don’t bother to know or care. The Mac just works so most of us don’t check on the stats or status until something goes a little wonky. Here’s an easy way to check on the Mac in both scenarios; before and after wonky sets in.
iAm, Therefore, iStatistica
One of my favorite Mac utilities is iStatistica— a Mac system monitor which displays a little of what’s going on inside before you have to worry about what went wrong. Think of iStatistica as the modern day Mac equivalent of a car’s dashboard that displays system functionality that Apple figures you don’t want to see. Sure, there’s Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder, but it’s an arcane relic of the past with more detailed information than most Mac users ever want to see.
iStatistica is an elegant, graphical way to view much of the Mac’s system detail, but without the overhead or complexity of Activity Monitor. Click the Mac’s Menubar and all is revealed (in light or dark theme; your choice) in a colorful drop down display.
What iStatistca reveals is the standard– but all important– details of a system monitor. Uptime, memory status, CPU usage, and storage usage. But it also delivers battery information in detail, including total capacity, number of battery charge cycles, and battery health for Mac notebooks.
Less important data, until something goes wrong, is the network connection detail; a network map, with router, LAN, WAN IP addresses, and a display of the amount of incoming and outgoing traffic through your Mac.
What’s missing from this attractive and inexpensive utility?
Not much. But something.
iStatistica displays detail on the Mac’s built-in sensors but could use an option to monitor and control fans like some free utilities do. My Macs get iStatistica pop ups with temperature information, but no more detail than that. Otherwise, it’s a very good attempt at a Mac system monitor dashboard that is always available.
One more thing. iStatistica has an iOS version which works much the same way.
The only difference is the iOS app isn’t always visible onscreen as is the Mac version, but it does have some iOS-only features, including an option to make sure you have enough free storage before taking a video or photo, checks on cellphone data amounts while traveling, and displays battery time remaining.
Otherwise, iStatistica is a good way to get your geek on with a touch of iCandy.