Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Fruity Picks #7 - Get Control of your Power Schedule

By default OS X 10.11 gives you limited control over your power settings by allowing you to set times for when you want to start (or wake up) your Mac, and when you want to shutdown or sleep the machine. Of course, for many people even this is overkill, they just switch on the machine when they need it and close it down when they're done.

While I'm based overseas, I'm loathe to have my MBA plugged in all day, potentially screwing up the battery, especially when it's not actually being used for 8-10 hours of the day. (I rarely take the laptop into the office these days since almost all my needs can be met through my iDevices). However, I like my laptop to be on when I wake up in the morning, and then again when I get home in the evening. 

If you want this kind of flexibility then you have a couple of options. The first is to use the 'pmset' command line tool (see here for a tutorial), but this requires you to be prepared to go 'under the hood' and might not be that much of an option for more casual users. The second option is to get a copy of Dragon Software Power Manager which is a more user friendly option (albeit at a price - approx £40 at the time of writing).

In addition to setting up complex power management schedules, Power Manager, also allows scheduling of other actions - the only limit is most likely to be your imagination. There's even a remote version for iOS devices (iOS8/9 are not currently supported but the website suggests that a new version is under development).

£40 might feel a bit steep, but if you value your MBA battery, and consider the cost of replacement it could work out as a sensible investment!