iStat is Like an X-Ray Machine for Your Mac's Inner Workings

This app is not currently available in the App Store.

istat iphoneNeed to know what your Mac (Macs) is up to while you're away from your desk? Bjango's iStat — System Monitoring will keep you posted and it will do that very well.

This powerful little utility enables iPhoners to remotely monitor their Macs as well as their iPhone's inner workings.

Setup requires your installing iStat Server, a free desktop widget for your Mac (OS X.4 or higher). Step two, launch the widget and it will display a passcode. Step three, launch iStat, enter the widget's passcode and you're good to go, all within seconds.

You can use iStat to monitor — using Bonjour or TCP/IP — each Mac's  CPU, memory, disk storage, temperatures, uptime and load averages.

To ping or run a traceroute, you enter IP addresses in the space provided using iPhone's familiar keyboard. It sure would be nice for it to default to the number keyboard instead of the QWERTY keyboard as it does now. It would be even better if the developers of iStat — System Monitoring were able to substitute the basic keyboard with that generous and good-looking number pad currently used to enter passcodes.

You can also ping and run a traceroute to see whether your Mac (or any other machine) is accessible and follow the route packets take to get to wherever they're going.

You have the option under Settings to select the stats you would like the app to display as well as configure graphs, temperature and whether you want to pause ping when the screen is locked.

iStat also displays stats for your iPhone: memory, available storage, IP and cell addresses, uptime, load, unique identifier and Wi-Fi MAC address. You can email your unique ID and MAC address with a button tap.

Last, there a Free Memory button if you need to clear out the flotsam and jetsam left behind by other apps.

iStat — System Monitoring is a well-crafted and polished app with a lot of bang for the buck. It just works — without your having to do much of anything.

The average home Mac user might not use iStat — System Monitoring all that much, but if you're tasked with looking after more than a couple of Macs, you can't beat this one for checking their vital signs.

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This app is not currently available in the App Store.

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  • Marc Edwards

    Thanks for the review! We used the full keyboard because you can also enter hostnames into ping and traceroute.

  • Bjango

    "iStat is like an x-ray machine for your Mac’s inner workings. 9/10." Thanks @appcraver

  • Michael Alexander

    No doubt about it, many people will use host names but given the choice, I'd rather use IP addresses because it's quicker. I loathe typing on the iPhone's keyboard so I'm always looking for an excuse for not having to do that.

    I should have clarified I was expressing a personal preference and not an unhappiness with the app, which I obviously liked quite a bit.

    Now build a widget for PCs and an app to go along with it and I'll be even happier!

  • XIII

    It'd be nice if it were possible to send a remote shutdown or restart as well, but otherwise thumbs up.

  • Connor

    I purchased this app, along with their "Consume" app, and both work greatly for me. I don't have a iPhone, I use it on my iPod touch (2nd gen), and it works great. I use it to monitor the vitals of my Linux box at home, and to monitor some Mac servers. Mostely however I use it to track my battery information (percentage, time remaining as per music/video/web/ect), and for the address/UDID information. I agree (somewhat) with the idea of using a number pad instead of a keyboard, although I think they should make a "custom" keyboard to load that allows for normal iPhone-standard keyboard (QWERTY/number), as well as a number pad. I have seen apps that use this.I also extremely agree with making a Windows version of the iStat server program, but there are some things that make that difficult. Most PC's don't have on-board programs to handle the signals from sensors on the motherboard (fan speed, CPU speed, temp, ect), although the BIOS does. Some programs have been made for Windows which handle these signals entirely, namely Motherboard Monitor 5 (MBM5, I use it on XP for beta testing of plugins for various programs). the Mac version uses Bonjour, which is like BIOS for Mac, to retrieve the Motherboard information. As for Linux, well, it handles basically everything locally, just it does it in the background. iStat takes advantage of this on Linux to keep track by communicating with the "built-in BIOS," which is usually GNOME. Another reason iStat may not be usable on Wndows anytime soon, is that Bill Gates has become selfish, and doesn't want hardly any programs accessing system information (which would be anything the OS doesn't handle by defualt) without it being sent through a million different translations, so unless you can replace the windows kernel with GNOME, Windows will just have to be left out, or you could attempt Dual-booting, just have your Windows OS run behind a Linux OS, I personally use Ubuntu, but it's not the only one.