Our utilities update report is a column on updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though a utility can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is on bringing you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there were updates for a data recovery tool, a popular maintenance program, an Apple products database, and an alternate filesystem browser.
If you have tried using the OS X Finder for complex management of files and file properties, you might find your options rather limited. While OS X has options for permissions and sharing, there are numerous other details about files and how to handle them that can be useful. The tool Path Finder is a replacement filesystem browser for OS X that offers extensive options for dealing with files. Path Finder has recently been updated with more compatibility for OS X 10.7 Lion, in addition to some minor UI elements. Path Finder is $39.95 after the free trial period.
Another utility updated this week is a file recovery program called R-Studio Data Recovery. This $79.99 utility can scan for and recover files that have been deleted or inadvertently lost from hard drives of various formats (Windows, Unix, Linux, and OS X). There is no information from the developers on what has changed in this latest update.
While not directly a troubleshooting utility, the Apple product database Mactracker can be useful for figuring out specific hardware details about Apple products, and it also enables you to catalog your own Macs. The utility has been updated to fix a problem in which the program would not save preferences for personal model lists. If you want to try Mactracker, the program is free.
A final update this week is for the popular maintenance utility Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner, which as its name implies is a program for clearing caches and other temporary items in OS X as part of maintenance routines. This $9.99 tool can be used for quick and ongoing maintenance, and also offers options to customize hidden OS X settings and scan your Mac for malware.