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 a couple of maintenance and data management and recovery utilities, as well as a partition manager and a reusable benchmarking suite.
Yasu is a simple interface for running a variety of the built-in maintenance and cleaning routines in OS X, as well as offering a few cache-cleaning options. These are available in other maintenance programs, but the simple interface in Yasu may be more appealing to some folks. The program has been updated to fix problems with the program quitting at launch for OS X 10.4 users. The program is $3.50 for a license.
A more in-depth maintenance program, Cocktail offers more options for tinkering with the system as well as running the standard gamut of maintenance routines. The program also has an antivirus scanner, and this update has given the scanner the ability to clear the newly uncovered "Koobface.A/Bonana.A" Trojan. The program can now also remove the cache for Office 2011, and fixes a few other minor bugs. A license for Cocktail is $14.95.
Data recovery and file management
The new data recovery utility Disk Drill has been updated to add a couple of new features. It offers output in a more readable formatting, and also comes with an option to remove the program. There are also new options for managing the recovery destination folder, to help reduce clutter. In addition to these features the developers have addressed hangs during scans of external drives, and improved the scanning speed of the "Deep Scan." Disk Drill is for now a free utility.
The second file management utility is Tidy Up, which can be used to locate and remove duplicate files on any disk. This can be exceptionally useful after you have migrated to a new user account, or if you manually back up your system to external drives, or if you otherwise manage many external drives. The latest update adds full compatibility for iPhoto '11 and fixes problems with Aperture 3.1. The program also now has an option to check and manage individual items in the results list. Tidy Up will cost $30 for a license.
There are several robust utilities that can partition disks, but iPartition is one of the few that are solely dedicated to partition management. The latest full release version can now manage Boot Camp partitions, allowing you to resize the drive without formatting. The latest update for iPartition is a small bug fix release. A full license will cost $44.95.
Though not really a troubleshooting utility, benchmarking suites can be used for troubleshooting purposes. Geekbench is one of these that will run benchmarks for 32-bit and 64-bit mode, as well as test Rosetta's performance on Intel Macs. You can also submit your results to compare against others running the same model of Mac as yourself. The latest update for Geekbench adds full support for the latest MacBook Air and MacBook PRo models. Geekbench offers the 32-bit benchmarks for free, but the 64-bit and Rosetta benchmarks will require a purchase of the $19.95 license.