Provides: Mac system maintenance and optimization
Developer: ZeoBIT, LLC
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.5 or later
Processor Compatibility: Universal
Price: Starting at $39.95 (different license schemes and organizational discounts available)
Version Reviewed: 1.8.1
A little bit more than a year ago I got the chance to test-drive MacKeeper for the first time. I really liked the application, but even more, I liked the potential of it. I’ve been using it ever since, catching up to every update, and looking for improvements.
I come to the writing room now from an end-user’s point of view. Far from going through all the features, I’ll comment on things I believe are worth mentioning in the current version. I’ll try to simply sum up my successes and failures over the past year using this wide-range application.
If you’re new to MacKeeper, maybe you won’t notice the changes made on the installer. If you go to the download section of the site, you’ll get a .pkg installer just over 200KB in size. During the installation process you’ll actually download the application, and then copy the files on the system in a pretty standard fashion. You’ll need an Internet connection for this, of course.
One of the first things you’ll notice after installation on the latest version of MacKeeper is the new screen for the MacKeeper Report. This report focuses on three key areas: Junk (files), Security, and Performance. You’ll get the race car-like interface for these metrics, and you can go from critical, through serious, up to excellent, according to your system state.
The analysis process is pretty straight forward, and after the scan is done, you’ll get the diagnostic along with suggestions to fix the issues the app found. You’ll also get to make choices to act or ignore the issues and then improve the health of your system.
Personally, I deactivated right away the antivirus warnings from the security analysis. I don’t care for having AV software running in my Mac. I believe we’re still in those days where you can avoid threats on Mac OS just with common sense.
It is important to mention, though, that the number of threats for the Mac is growing, and there are certain types of users (e.g. moms and dads) who may not be aware of the latest developments on the Mac-related security arena. Having a good AV installed for them could be the way to go.
Two of the main features I heavily use are the Disk Usage and the Update Tracker.
Having a way to keep track of application versions in a centralized manner is an amazing and ambitious concept. The fact that MacKeeper developers are going after something like that makes you realize they’re not here just to tackle the easy stuff.
But the Update Tracker has issues. If you have a little knowledge of how complex and diverge are the installation methods on the Mac, you can imagine the effort behind an initiative like this. The updater works well most of the times, but it still misses a few of my installed apps, it doesn’t have a method to force the monitoring of the apps it doesn’t automatically recognize, and sometimes it just refuses to properly update the acknowledge apps.
I’m constantly testing this feature with every new update of MacKeeper. I’m confident they’ll get it mature enough soon, and it’d be even better.
With the Disk Usage utility there is a mixed feeling as well. It does its job, giving you the info you need about the space every folder takes on you system hard drive. You can use that information to detect opportunities of freeing some disk space. The thing is, it does look like something you’d expect from a Windows system, not a Mac.
I’m still crossing my fingers for a Daisy Disk like interface in the future; something that is even included today on Linux systems as the standard disk space analyzer. This utility does the job, and at the end of the day, it helps me better understand how my files affect the system, but it surely can do it better.
The ZeoDisk promise
The ZeoDisk feature is still on the “Coming Soon” stage. This has been promised for quite a while now and you can’t avoid thinking on the implications of openly offering features that can or cannot be delivered fast enough. Personally, I don’t mind having to wait for it, but it feels least weird to see a year go by with the promise of a “soon to be released” feature.
Finally, one of the strengths of MacKeeper has always been its support. You can get a pretty accurate picture of how serious a company is about a product just by getting a taste of the support they offer. One thing is selling an application; another story is supporting it via live chat, forums, phone calls, email, and ticketing system 24/7.
With the trial version of MacKeeper you’ll get the full support. I’d recommend you try the “Geek on Demand” feature to get the best out of their team of Mac experts available to help you out.
To me MacKeeper is a winner, and you can try it for free by downloading the trial from the MacKeeper site. Have fun with it. It’s worth it.