Sunday, 9 June 2013

Mac app utility - Battery Monitor

Mac App - Battery Monitor - monitor battery level via speech output


This is a Mac app that I've wanted for quite a while.  Rather than having to go to my Extra's Status menu on the Mac with the VoiceOver command VO+MM, and then VO+Right arrow over to read the battery level on my Macbook pro: I can just leave this app running and get notified by system speech every 10 percent of the battery recharge or discharge.


Once the app was downloaded and installed from the Mac App Store, all I had to do to enable speech output for the monitoring of the battery level, was to bring up Preferences with Command+, (comma), Notifications tab, and in my case, I selected to be notified of both recharge and discharge: Speech was already selected.


Now I can just use my Macbook pro, and get notified of the discharge state when on battery or the recharge state when I've plugged the power back in without having to go anywhere near the Extra's Status menu.


The app was only $5 or so from the Mac App Store and well worth the price.  I've pasted in a description from the Mac App Store (with a link to follow), info about the speech option is at the bottom of the description.


NOTE: A computer with a battery compliant with the Smart Battery standard is required. All portable Apple computers with Intel processors fulfill this requirement.

More and more computers are mobile devices nowadays. The most important prerequisite for a portable computer is a chargable battery which keeps the device powered. Batteries are not really cheap replacement parts and they are subject to wear and tear. Their lifetimes should be optimized, handling them with the necessary care. Battery Monitor is a small auxiliary application useful in this regard. It offers the following features:

- Display of the charge state in the Dock: This is useful if you cannot or do not like to use the display in the menubar of Mac OS X, e.g. when you have a screen which is not very wide.

- Display of internal battery information: In addition to the charge state, many other technical specifications, e.g. age, temperature, discharge current, number of charge cycles, expected lifetime, or capacity can be retrieved. The states of each of the battery cells and the manufacturer of the cells can also be determined.

- Capturing charge and discharge curves: The history of the readings measured by the battery unit can be displayed graphically. This way you can plot the charge and discharge curves, for example, one of the most important characteristics for the health of a battery. You can also review the graphical profile of the amperage drawn by the computer, helping to find “power guzzling applications”.

- Bookkeeping of the aging process of the battery: Battery Monitor automatically keeps a log about the charge capacity of the battery which will decrease as the battery ages. This helps you to exactly monitor how the behavior of the battery is changing over time. You can assess if your battery is working normally or if it might be defective. You can also estimate more exactly when the right time has come to purchase a new battery. For computers with replaceable battery units, Battery Monitor can of course monitor multiple battery packs at the same time.

- Notifications during charge or discharge: In addition to the display of the charge state in the Dock, Battery Monitor can optionally inform you about the progress of the charge or discharge process by other means. Inobtrusive notifications using speech, the Notification Center of OS X, or via Growl technology can be set up.


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