HotKey

HotKey App from Peter Vorwieger (Codenuts) is a macOS utility that creates keyboard shortcuts for launching apps or opening folders (or showing the contents of the Clipboard). Expanded functionality provides for opening a batch of files and apps via AppleScript:

To do this, an AppleScript must be installed in the user directory. The function can be unlocked using the following terminal commands… After successful installation, selected files or folders in the Finder can be opened directly with the configured programs. For example, a selected file is opened by pressing the shortcut with Mail, or the Terminal program opens exactly the file path of the folder selected in the Finder.

HotKey App 1.4.1 is free from the Mac App Store for macOS 10.12 and later.

Sensei

Sensei is a new utility app  from Cindori AB that adds to the capabilities of the company’s previous Trim Enabler and Disk Sensei Mac apps but only runs on macOS Catalina. Features include SSD Trim support, SMART reporting, performance testing, fan control, detailed Mac information and monitoring (temperature, CPU, GPU, battery, drives), an app uninstaller, disk “cleaning” and more.

Sensei 1.0.0, which is compatible only with macOS 10.15 Catalina, is priced at $59 for a permanent license or $29/year as a subscription. Upgrade discounts are available for owners of Trim Enabler and Disk Sensei.

SilentKnight, LockRattler, SysHist

SilentKnight is a Mac app from Howard Oakley (The Eclectic Light Co.) that fills a big gap in Apple’s Mac software, checking and displaying the status of Apple’s silent security updates — MRT, Gatekeeper, XProtect, TCC, the KEXT blocker, EFI firmware and System Integrity Protection (SIP) status.

LockRattler is an earlier app from the same developer with a less streamlined, more manual interface that may be preferable in certain cases, for example, if you don’t want to update all back-level versions of these Apple security components at once. Another related app, SystHist, offers a list of these security updates and versions that have been installed over time.

SilentKnight, LockRattler and SystHist are free downloads for OS X 10.11 and later.

To check your Mac, simply open [SilentKnight]. It then runs a series of automatic checks:
• whether your EFI firmware is current, against a list which I maintain for each model;
• settings of key security systems such as System Integrity Protection (SIP);
• security data files for MRT, Gatekeeper, XProtect, TCC, and the KEXT blocker, testing whether they are up to date;
• whether there are any security updates available from Apple.
If the answer to the last is that there are updates available, it provides a single button which will download and install them immediately.

… SilentKnight isn’t intended as a complete replacement for LockRattler, which offers similar coverage but without automatic comparison against expected results. LockRattler remains the preferred option when you need more flexibility, perhaps running deliberately with older EFI firmware, or only wanting to download and install certain named updates.

… SystHist is a clean and simple app which tells you all the OS X/macOS system and security updates which have been installed on that Mac. Now probes deep into protected territory to find even silent silent updates, and gives details of all the files updated.

SilentKnight 1.6 takes Apple’s abandonment of macOS 10.12 into consideration.

T2M2 (The Time Machine Mechanic)

T2M2 (The Time Machine Mechanic) is a Mac utility app from Howard Oakley (The Eclectic Light Co.) that helps check on the integrity of Apple’s Time Machine backup system, analyzing your Mac’s system logs to check for anomalies and errors and reporting on backup volumes, file counts, space usage, deletions, scheduling, errors, intervals, deep scans, compaction, and more. The app includes detailed built-in help and a “Back up Now” button.

T2M2 1.12 is a free download for macOS 10.12 and later.

Much of the time, Time Machine backups work fine. Every hour or so, your Mac automatically makes a new backup, and when you need to retrieve something from those backups, it’s there, ready for you. But Time Machine can and does go wrong, and often does not warn you that it has stopped making backups regularly, has stopped working altogether, or that errors have occurred. You may only discover this when you go to use your backup; it is then too late. The Time Machine Mechanic, T2M2 for short, is an easy-to-use tool which checks that your backups are being made correctly. It tells you details such as how much has been backed up, and when. It reports any errors which have occurred, and keeps you fully informed about what has been going on with Time Machine.

Macs Fan Control

Macs Fan Control is a free app from CrystalIdea Software Inc. for better control over Mac cooling fans, letting you set individual fans to a constant speed or control them in relation to a specific temperature sensor, from built-in Apple sensors to third-party hard drive and SSD SMART data. You can set minimum and maximum thresholds, display thermal sensor data, display a temperature and fan speed in the Mac menubar, and even use it with Windows running in Boot Camp.

Macs Fan Control 1.5.4 is a free download for macOS 10.12 and up with earlier versions available for Mac OS X 10.6 to OS X 10.11. A $14.95 “Pro” version brings custom fan presets, plus “priority customer support and confidence in future updates and improvements.” The latest release now works in Windows 10 also on modern computers that have the T2 security chip.

CPUSetter

CPUSetter is a little Mac utility from Bryan Christianson that lets you set the number of active physical and logical CPU cores, as well as disabling hyperthreading on certain CPUs (e.g. quad-core i7), for various purposes, such as security issues, bug workarounds, power reduction, software license requirements, and pure experimentation.

Other features include built-in help, plus controls over process priority and limiting, as well as some very useful real-time displays of system/resource details — processes, priorities, and resource usage for CPU, GPU, RAM, disk, network, etc.

CPUSetter 1.5.0 is donationware for OS X 10.10 and up. The latest release adds a power usage graph and fixes a memory leak.

Trim Enabler

Trim Enabler is a Mac app from Oskar Groth (Cindori Software AB) that enables SSD Trim for better performance and longevity with solid-state drives. (Apple supports Trim for its own internal flash storage in modern Macs but doesn’t support third-party Trim without special overrides.) Features include Trim on/off switching, other optimization controls (Sudden Motion Sensor, Local Time Machine, Sleep Image, and Access Time logging), SMART-based information about drive health (with the option of installing a SMART driver for external drives), and a benchmarking utility.

Trim Enabler 4.1.3 is priced at $14.99 for OS X 10.9 and up, with a 14-day trial period and older versions available with support for earlier Macs. The latest version brings full support for macOS 10.14 and 10.15.

Sensei is a pending product for macOS Catalina that expands on the company’s previous Disk Sensei app (a more advanced alternative to Trim Enabler with a number of additional capabilities).

Disk Inventory X

Disk Inventory X is a Mac app from Tjark Derlien for analyzing storage usage and displaying folders and files in color-coded treemaps to make it easier to quickly identify and manage files taking up the most space. You can choose volumes or folders to analyze then click on the treemap to see which files/folders are using blocks of space or vice versa.

Disk Inventory X 1.3 is freely downloadable, open-source donationware for macOS 10.13 and up, and Disk Inventory 1.0 is available to support Macs all the way back to Mac OS X 10.3.  The latest version adds support for macOS 10.15 Catalina.