Archive for the ‘App Tamer’ Category
Monday, June 24th, 2019
Version 2.4.6 of App Tamer is available, adding preliminary support for macOS 10.16 Catalina (up to the second developer release, anyway, because that’s what we’ve got at present).
It also fixes a little bug that I personally found really annoying: When Spotlight was indexing files, App Tamer showed all of the Spotlight processes separately, often filling up half of the visible process list with Spotlight stuff. It now does what it’s supposed to do, aggregating all the CPU usage in one “Spotlight Indexer” entry and controlling that as if it’s a single process. That gives you better control over Spotlight’s CPU usage and makes CPU-hogs easier to see (I’m looking at you, Spotlight!).
This release also introduces a new setting in App Tamer’s preferences. In the Control tab, there’s now a way to modify how long it waits before managing processes after it launches or wakes from sleep.
This lets you give all processes a little time to run at full speed to get everything synced up after your Mac wakes up, usually making that happen a little faster.
Release notes and download links are on the App Tamer Release page.
Tuesday, May 21st, 2019
Version 2.4.5 of App Tamer is a fairly tame release – it corrects a few nagging bugs, and is now checked for malware by Apple and notarized to indicate so. The menu bar icon shows its disabled state more clearly when running in Dark Mode on Mojave, and some processes were mistakenly listed in the “Managed Processes” list even though App Tamer wasn’t managing them (ironically, because of bookkeeping error, they were included in the list because App Tamer never touched them at all).
Full release notes and download links are available on the App Tamer release page.
Friday, March 22nd, 2019
Some users of App Tamer have noticed that version 2.4.3 unexpectedly disappeared from their menu bar. There was a library shared across all of St. Clair Software’s apps that didn’t work correctly in App Tamer, causing it to crash when it received certain system notifications. That’s now been fixed.
Equally important, App Tamer was using more CPU than it had to, which isn’t really what you want in an app that’s supposed to be saving CPU cycles. It primarily affected Google Chrome users, but was actually a problem with all web browsers. App Tamer periodically “rebalances” the CPU usage of browsers’ helper processes, and was actually re-checking to see if the browser was downloading anything every time it did that rebalancing. That was completely unnecessary, and the download check is one of the more CPU-intensive things that App Tamer does, so it really shouldn’t have been doing that more than it absolutely had to.
So, those two issues are fixed – my apologies for the problems. You can grab version 2.4.4 from the App Tamer Release Page.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
Version 2.4.3 of App Tamer is available, offering a new option to turn off its AutoStop feature when you’ve been away from your Mac for a specified period of time.
This allows you to stop or slow down background processes so they don’t impact your work, but let them run at full speed when you’re not otherwise using your Mac.
This release also corrects a number of issues, including several crashes that occur in exceptional circumstances and a bug that could prevent apps from returning to full speed when you click on their icons in the Dock. In addition, App Tamer’s ‘wake’ AppleScript command now supports waking up all stopped and slowed apps at once.
For full details and download links, visit the App Tamer release page.
Thursday, January 3rd, 2019
Version 2.4.2 of App Tamer is available! There’s an exclamation point there because it offers a fix for an annoying problem that cropped up in Mojave, where Core Graphics Event Taps no longer deliver events to applications when they’re in the background (Radar #45934966 if you’re listening, Apple). While that may sound cryptic, the end result was that App Tamer never saw mouse scrolling events when you used a scroll wheel or gesture to scroll the contents of a background window. If the background window belonged to an app that App Tamer had slowed or stopped, that meant that the window would scroll slowly or not at all. This drove me crazy ALL THE TIME because I apparently scroll through web pages and other background windows very frequently.
Anyway, in addition to that issue, this release improves the ability to move through App Tamer’s process list using the keyboard, and lets you keep App Tamer’s window floating on top of all other windows if want to use it to diagnose a problem or keep an eye on CPU-gobbling processes. A number of little interface issues have also been addressed, and a bug fixed for App Tamer waiting too long to slow or stop background processes when they were also set to be hidden after a certain amount of time.
As usual, this update is free for users who’ve already purchased a license for App Tamer 2.x. You can head over to the App Tamer Release Page to see more details or to download the new version (or just hit “Check for Updates” in App Tamer’s utility menu if you’re already running it).
And Happy New Year!
Monday, September 24th, 2018
App Tamer and Jettison have both been updated with support for Dark Mode in Mojave.
Jettison 1.7 also includes a number of features and fixes for all versions of macOS (well, from 10.8 to 10.14, anyway — that’s what Jettison supports). These include the addition of a menu command to mount all unmounted disks, options to not automatically remount specific drives after they’ve been ejected, and the fix for a bug that could cause some Macs to repeatedly cycle between sleep and wake. There are also a number of under-the-hood improvements and fixes.
Details and download links are available on the Jettison Release Page and the App Tamer Release Page — or you can just hop over to the Products Page and download them both!
Wednesday, July 18th, 2018
App Tamer 2.4 is now available. It offers a new option to hide applications after they’ve been idle, and also lets you hide its CPU usage graph if you just want to see its lists of CPU-consuming processes. There are also fixes for several bugs, including one that could result in App Tamer not correctly slowing (or un-slowing) an app if you had the “Do not slow or stop apps if power is plugged in” option turned on.
As an additional note, App Tamer works with beta versions of Mojave, but it doesn’t yet support Dark Mode. However, you can switch App Tamer to its own dark appearance and that makes its main window match, at least.
A complete list of changes and a download link are on the App Tamer release page, or if you’re already running App Tamer, you can just choose “Check for Updates” from the menu in the lower right corner of its window.
Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Version 2.3.5 of App Tamer is available, bringing several improvements and fixes on the performance side, as well as showing you how much CPU time it has saved.
It gives a cumulative “CPU-hours saved,” where a CPU-hour is the amount of computing a single processor core can do in an hour when running at 100%. So if it says it’s saved 8.8 CPU-hours, as shown in the image on the right, that means one CPU would have been running full tilt for an additional 8.8 hours if I hadn’t been using App Tamer. Which means the fans in my MacBook Pro would have driven me crazy today without App Tamer 🙂
Other changes include fixing a memory leak that would cause App Tamer to gradually use more and more RAM if left running for long periods of time, fixing some UI glitches and improving VoiceOver support.
Grab a copy of App Tamer 2.3.5 from the App Tamer Release page, or by selecting “Check for Updates” from its menu if you’re already running it.
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Version 2.3.4 of App Tamer is now available, adding an extra checkbox to the settings for each application. You can now have App Tamer automatically quit an app after it’s been unused for a certain amount of time – handy for those one-shot utilities like password managers, image converters, Contacts, etc that you look at quickly and then accidentally leave open.
This version also improves App Tamer’s ability to control the CPU usage of applications that employ helper processes to do some of their work. This includes web browsers, Spotlight, virus scanners and backup utilities, among other apps. While App Tamer’s management of CPU usage is always going to be approximate (because it doesn’t know the inner workings of every app), it now keeps an app’s average usage much closer to the limit you’ve specified.
Head over to the App Tamer release page to see the full list of changes and to download a copy of version 2.3.4!
Friday, October 13th, 2017
App Tamer 2.3.3 is now available – it’s a free update for App Tamer 2 users, and a $7.95 upgrade for version 1.x users.
It adds a checkbox that speeds up Time Machine backups, something that’s really helpful if you only plug in your backup drive occasionally, resulting in Time Machine needing to copy lots of data. Time Machine is normally set up with a very low I/O priority, which means that macOS puts it at the back of the queue for disk access. This keeps it from interfering with anything else on your machine, but means that it copies data very slowly. Mac Kung Fu published an article last year detailing a geeky way to speed Time Machine up, but it requires a Terminal command and only stays in force until the next time you reboot your Mac. App Tamer now offers a checkbox in the prefs to take care of this for you, and will re-apply the setting whenever it’s running.
There are some caveats about this method, however. Because it prevents macOS from throttling processes that have low I/O priority, it can potentially cause other processes that are supposed to be slowly doing disk or network I/O in the background to run faster. This may not be what you want in some instances. It could cause those processes to consume more battery power, for instance, than they would otherwise – so keep an eye out if you turn this option on. We haven’t seen any negative effects from the Time Machine acceleration, but there may be instances where it burns your laptop battery faster.
App Tamer 2.3.3 also lets you change the priority of processes – the equivalent of the unix renice command. It’s not nearly as effective of a way to control CPU usage as App Tamer’s methods, but can be useful in some circumstances. Hold down the Option key while clicking on a process in App Tamer in order to get a Priority slider alongside App Tamer’s normal slow/stop options.