Provides: Mac system maintenance and optimization
Developer: ZeoBIT, LLC
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.5 or later
Processor Compatibility: Universal
Price: $39.95 (volume license and organizational discounts available)
Version Reviewed: 0.9.3
Just getting to the MacKeeper website gives you a positive feeling about this application, even if you don’t have a clear idea of what it does. MacKeeper’s website has the look-n-feel of a professionally designed site which invites you to find out more about what they’re promoting.
When it comes to applications that try to improve your Mac’s performance, execute some maintenance tasks, or free some space up, there’s a lot to talk about. There are many well-known tools, paid and free, which focus on doing this job. Each has its own strategy to implement solutions, with its own pros and cons. But there’s one thing for sure; if you want to be noticed in this field, you have to bring something new to the table.
ZeoBIT brings you MacKeeper, with an ambitious and interesting proposal for those of you who are looking for a simple way to handle all your maintenance tasks on the Mac. They claim this app will keep your Mac clean, foolproof, secured, fast, reliable, and attended. Let’s take a closer look to their plan of action.
What does it look like?
If you’ve ever used iTunes (and you probably have), you’ll feel right at home when MacKeeper opens up.
I must say, for an application that brings so many tools in one workspace, the user interface is fairly clean and well organized. Sometimes when you get your hands on some of these tools, you get the impression that a button here or there could be better placed, or some information could be presented differently, leaving room for UI improvements on future versions.
The overall app looks are clean and uncluttered; something that is harder to accomplish than most people realize.
What does it do?
Once you’ve installed the application, you notice there are three subsets of tools: cleaning utilities, standalone tools, and online services. All these tools combined represent nothing new to the Mac community. But the way they’re implemented in an all-in-one fashion could be a deal-sealer feature, mainly for all of those who used to install many programs to accomplish the same goal.
Getting into details of every single tool MacKeeper has to offer could end up being encyclopedia material, but what I can do is give you a glimpse of each subset of routines, and leave you with my impression on some of them.
When it comes to the cleaning utilities, you get the chance to activate each one of them individually or as a group with the One-Click Scan option. This section will help you find unnecessary code (if you’re running on an Intel Mac you don’t need the PPC code sent with every universal app, and vice-versa), cache and log files, duplicated files in your computer, additional language packages installed, and old files within your system.
The One-Click Scan is a demanding operation, as it is with any intensive hard disk read action. This should probably not be used if you intend to get a general idea of how much space you can free up from some extra language packages. If that’s the case, you could use each cleaning tool separately from the others, and therefore save some time.
Finding duplicated files in my computer was by far the operation that took the longest time to finish, and the old files finder was the most useful for me since it located some unnecessary files I could get rid of, helping me recover some gigabytes of hard disk space.
Once you are done with your cleaning duties, you can get to the Standalone Tools of MacKeeper. Here, you’ll find incredibly useful tools you rarely get within the same apps that help you clean log files.
In the Standalone section, you can set backups, secure or encrypt files and folders (one of my favorites), configure default system apps, check your disk usage, set log-in items, securely erase and recover data, and uninstall application correctly from your operative system.
Each one of those activities are performed in my system from different applications, installed from different websites, developed by different programmers, all of them with different user interfaces and unique ways of operating. Having them all inside one program is definitely an improvement for me.
The last subset of tools, Online Services, also incorporates interesting options for someone who wants to keep everything centralized and under control. With an anti-theft system (web-based, similar to mobile me), geek on demand (to help you solve any Mac-related problem), and the cloud-based disk storage solution (ZeoDisk), you get optional (and also paid) services to take your all-in-one experience even further.
The best way to get details on how each one of these utilities and services work is to visit the MacKeeper website and read what they have put there for you. I’d recommend watching the online video tutorials, and even trying the application using the 15-day trial demo.
How much does it cost?
You can get a MacKeeper lifetime license for US$39. [Update (8/12/10): Removed statement that online services are and additional $39.95. They are instead included in MacKeeper.] They also have different plans if you have more than one Mac, giving you the chance to save some money while getting all your computers covered.
Do I get something else?
If you are a registered use,r you can get online support 24/7. There’s a call center at your disposal, as well as my all-time favorite feature for requesting support, a built-in livechat.
I’ve tested the built-in livechat, and it works smoothly. My first attempt of getting online with a support consultant wasn’t successful; there was no one there. I wrote my question and I got no feedback whatsoever, but, when I opened the application the next day I found the answer to my question on the chat box, which was a pleasant surprise. I tried to get online again, and I had a nice experience this time from the online consultant.
If you want to get a license of MacKeeper and you don’t have the money to pay for it, you still have a chance. There’s a free license program for specific groups of customers, and some interesting promotions that show ZeoBIT is not only here for the money. If you represent an educational institution, a non-profit organization, a blog or a social account (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Digg etc.) with a large audience, you have the opportunity to get a MacKeeper account for free.
Is there any room for improvements?
When using the application, I found a couple of glitches when trying to removed some duplicate files, and a few improvement opportunities regarding the overall UI, as mentioned before. We shouldn’t forget this has still the BETA sticker floating on the web page header, so we have to expect updates soon, some to fix existing features and some to add new ones.
Keeping your Mac running at its best should be considered as a (maybe big) concept, even though it includes many different tasks. ZeoBIT gives you the option of treating your computer’s maintenance as a whole master duty that can be accomplished from a single application.
Trying to cover so many things within one single application is not an easy task. The group behind MacKeeper is giving it a shot, and I think they may have something unique between their hands. It will depend on how they play their cards and, as usual, the user’s response to their proposal.
I can’t wait to see what they bring on within the next couple of months when important updates are announced.