Our utilities update report is a list of 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 to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there are updates for maintenance utilities, display management tools, and file-renaming utilities.
Files and filesystem
This week the majority of updates are for utilities that help with managing files on the filesystem, including duplicate files, hidden files, and file recovery.
The first update is to Disk Drill, which is a file recovery and preventative loss program that can recover deleted files from hard drives and memory cards, supporting both HFS/HFS+ and FAT filesystem types. The latest version adds new in-app navigation options and comes with an uninstaller. In addition, it streamlines and improves the performance of its "recovery vault" feature, and offers more information about the files being managed by the program. The update also improves the handling of external drives and Time Machine volumes. Disk Drill is currently free while it is being developed.
The file browser Path Finder, which is offered as a replacement for the OS X Finder, has been updated to fix a number of small issues with performance and CPU usage when viewing items in lists and validating menus. It also fixes item overlapping on the desktop and fixes issues with the auto-updater. Path Finder may be a useful alternative to the Finder for those who want more control over the files on the system. The utility is $39.95 after the free trial period.
The next update is dupeGuru, which can be used to locate duplicate files on your system. This may happen if you perform manual backups or if you migrate to a new user account, among other activities. The program's latest update fixes problems with potential file corruption after a scan cancellation, and addresses a couple of crashes. The program is $19.95 for a license.
The last update to filesystem-based utilities is for Nude, which can be used to scan for and remove the hidden .DS_Store files that OS X places in each folder that is opened in the Finder. The utility will recursively scan a folder tree for these files and remove them, preventing them from showing up in Windows and other operating systems. The program is a free utility, and the latest update adds support for drag-and-drop scanning of folders.
In maintenance utilities this week, OnyX has been updated to address a few minor bugs, but also adds new options for the Mail panel, enabling hidden Mail features. The program now displays the results of volume verification, and improves the info and help panels. OnyX is freeware.
MacPilot is one of the more extensive OS X customizing utilities out there, and has a number of maintenance-related options as well. The latest version adds a new character map and has more warnings when booting to Safe Mode. It also removes the "Disk Images" preference pane when running in OS X 10.6, and fixes some bugs with setting power events and viewing zero-width font characters. MacPilot is $19.95 after the 15-day free trial.
Hardware and monitoring
The only hardware-related utility this week is X Resource Graph, which is a system-monitoring tool that will graph CPU usage, memory status, temperatures, disk and network usage, and I/O information along with some extra items like weather and stocks. The latest update fixes bugs with handling the window size and preventing the stock graph window from being displayed properly. The update also fixes problems with CPU graph bars not being displayed at the proper height and temperature sensors not working properly on the latest Core i3/5/7 Macs. X Resource Graph is a free utility.