App Tamer

Licence: Shareware ($14.95)
Version 2.0.2 | Release Date: 2014-03-28 | Download
  • Fixed a problem with App Tamer sometimes failing to slow down a process even when you’ve specified a CPU limit for it.
  • Added a small highlighted corner in the status indicators to show whether a running application has been configured to slow down or stop.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause App Tamer to crash when it started up under certain conditions.
Version 2.0.1 | Release Date: 2014-02-24 | Download
  • Corrected a bug that caused App Tamer to fail to turn itself back on after being turned off.
  • Improved App Tamer’s efficiency dramatically when dealing with applications that have many subprocesses (like Safari, Chrome and Terminal).
  • App Tamer no longer gets stuck if you enter an invalid value for the %CPU limit in an application’s settings.
  • When the parent process of an application quits, the application is made visible in App Tamer’s process list and has a settings panel that will let you slow and stop it. This affects Arq and VLCStreamer, as well as other applications
  • You can now enter a value of zero for the amount of time to turn App Tamer off if you want it to stay off indefinitely.
  • Corrected a problem with App Tamer repeatedly printing warnings in the console log if the Dock is relaunched.
  • Fixed a situation where App Tamer would crash when a process launched additional copies of itself.
Version 2.0 | Release Date: 2014-01-22 | Download
  • A new, streamlined user interface. Everything is available directly from your menubar. Hover over an application to see its performance, click on it to change its settings.
  • The ability to limit apps to a certain amount of CPU, rather than just stopping them. This makes App Tamer compatible with many more applications, including Spotlight, Time Machine and Mail.
  • Greater efficiency and responsiveness, bug fixes, and other good things that result from lots of testing and refinement.
  • Full compatibility with Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks and its App Nap feature.

Please note that version 2.0 is $7.95 if you bought App Tamer before July 1, 2013. The upgrade is free if you purchased it after that date.

Version 1.3.2 | Release Date: 2013-01-14 | Download
  • Added Retina display support.
  • App Tamer now wakes up applications for scroll wheel and gesture scrolling even when they're in the background.
  • Applications wake up when the display configuration changes so they can switch window configurations if necessary.
  • Errors were fixed that caused warning messages in the Console under some circumstances.
  • Fixed bugs in handling the consequences of high CPU load.
Version 1.3.1 | Release Date: 2012-06-22 | Download
  • The "AutoStop only when on battery" setting is now more logical, and has been renamed "Don't AutoStop when plugged in and battery is above xx%".
  • Added the ability to detect downloads in uTorrent 1.7.4 when its "Append !ut extension to incomplete files" setting is turned on.
  • App Tamer's modal dialogs no longer lock out its AutoStop stop/start handling.
Version 1.3 | Release Date: 2012-05-30 | Download
  • You can now set up App Tamer to only use AutoStop when your battery charge is below a certain percentage. Doing this will minimize battery drain when you are not plugged in, speed recharge time when you are plugged in, and will otherwise keep AutoStop turned off.
  • App Tamer now offers several AppleScript commands that let you to turn AutoStop on and off in your AppleScripts, as well as wake a stopped application.
  • A problem has been fixed that could cause helper applications for your web browser to get stuck, sometimes freezing the browser.
  • On some machines, disabling AutoStop for a specified number of minutes didn't work - it would always turn back on after 5 minutes. This has been fixed.
Version 1.2.1 | Release Date: 2012-04-04 | Download
  • App Tamer could fail to get all information about some applications (such as their icons or process identifiers) while OS X was very busy. This could result in AutoStop not working with those applications until you quit and relaunched App Tamer.
  • The menubar menu did not work correctly under Mac OS 10.5. This has been fixed.
Version 1.2 | Release Date: 2012-03-27 | Download
  • App Tamer's menubar icon now displays CPU usage in a number of ways. The needle on the icon moves to reflect processor load, the icon can be colorized so it turns yellow and then red as usage increases, and you can also display the CPU usage numerically next to the icon.
  • Problems have been fixed so that App Tamer correctly sees all processes launching and quitting. In version 1.1.2, it would occasionally lose track of an application or show an application twice.
  • If App Tamer's icon is not in the Dock, double-clicking on App Tamer when it's already running will open its window.
Version 1.1.1 | Release Date: 2011-10-26 | Download
  • Corrected performance problems caused by processes that relaunch very frequently (often without your knowledge). This change keeps App Tamer from using too much CPU time on affected Macs.
  • Fixed compatibility with Alien Skin Photoshop plugins.
Version 1.1 | Release Date: 2011-08-23 | Download
  • Significantly reduced the amount of CPU required by App Tamer, especially when the "Details" drawer is closed.
  • The "Details" drawer now reminds you to close it if you leave it open for more than 2 minutes.
  • Corrected a high-cpu usage condition when the system wakes from sleep.
  • Eliminated some stability issues in Mac OS 10.7 "Lion."
  • Fixed a bug that could leave some processes running but with their windows dimmed like they're stopped.
  • Arq and DockIt are now shown in the menubar menu even if they are not using CPU so you can easily control them.
Version 1.0.9 | Release Date: 2011-07-12 | Download
  • Corrected a problem with gaming mode turning itself off when switching between applications.
Version 1.0.8 | Release Date: 2011-07-12 | Download
  • Gaming mode now stops Time Machine backups and Spotlight indexing as well as background applications.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when waking from sleep when running under Lion.
  • Eliminated Console error messages when running under Lion.
  • App Tamer now dims/undims windows correctly when "autostop only when on battery" is turned on and you unplug or plug in the power adapter.
  • Screensaver plugins that use WebKit no longer freeze when Safari is AutoStopped.
  • Reeder no longer freezes when Safari is AutoStopped.
Version 1.0.7 | Release Date: 2011-04-06 | Download
  • Corrected a bug which would cause App Tamer to repeatedly pause for several seconds on some machines.
Version 1.0.6 | Release Date: 2011-04-06 | Download
  • App Tamer's download monitoring has been updated so it will not stop Firefox 4 or newer versions of Google Chrome while you are downloading files.
  • Fixed a bug that could result in applications not being restarted when they were brought to the front.
  • Found and fixed two problems that could cause App Tamer to consume more CPU time than it should.
  • Corrected a problem that could cause Parallels Desktop 5 to stay AutoStopped when it shouldn't.
  • Modified the priority slider to be more understandable.
  • Identified the source of isolated installation problems. Some users have incorrect permissions set on the /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools folder. These need to be fixed before App Tamer can install its helper application or there is a risk of leaving a security hole. Contact [email protected] for assistance if you encounter this problem.
Version 1.0.5 | Release Date: 2011-03-14 | Download
  • Right-clicking on a stopped application reveals a contextual menu that allows you to turn AutoStop off and quit, force quit, or relaunch the application.
  • This version works around an issue that caused Parallels Desktop to freeze your keyboard and mouse for a few seconds when it was autostopped.
  • App Tamer now works with the developer seed of Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion."
Version 1.0.4 | Release Date: 2011-02-04 | Download
  • When running under high CPU load, App Tamer’s real-time CPU usage graphs could stop updating.
  • Version 1.0.3 wouldn’t accept certain license codes.
Version 1.0.3 | Release Date: 2011-01-26 | Download

Feature changes and enhancements

  • You can now choose to hide an application when it is AutoStopped.
  • A new setting lets you change the amount of time that App Tamer gives newly-launched applications before it enables AutoStop.
  • The main window has more space for the list of stopped applications. The list now also includes the %CPU saved for each app and is sorted by the amount saved.
  • CPU savings in the menubar menu and in the list of stopped apps are now calculated as a percentage of all available CPU's, not as a percentage of 1 processor. This is different from the %CPU listed in the Details drawer, which is shown as a percentage of one CPU so that the numbers are consistent with Activity Monitor. This means that if you stop an app that's reported as using 100% CPU by Activity Monitor or App Tamer's Details list, it will only show as a savings of 50% on a dual core Mac, 25% on a quad core Mac, etc.
  • Holding down the Option key while choosing "Disable AutoStop" from the menubar menu now turns it off indefinitely, rather than prompting you for the number of minutes to turn AutoStop off.
  • Fixed the "Disable AutoStop…" command so that it consistently reenables at the correct time. In version 1.0.2, if you disabled AutoStop for a specified period, reenabled it again manually, and then disabled it again, the delay-before-reenabling didn't work correctly.
  • App Tamer will no longer stop Safari if it's downloading files of type mov, mp4, flv, divx, wmv, mms, or rm. This fixes a problem with CosmoPod.
  • Some pages in NetNewsWire's browser would not display correctly if Safari was also running and was AutoStopped. This has been fixed.
  • App Tamer is now more tolerant of very slow machines so it doesn't keep asking to reinstall its helper application.
  • The license window is smarter so that it won't try and re-authorize an already-licensed copy of App Tamer.
  • There is no longer a long lag in AutoStopping applications when the CPU statistics update time is set to 10 or 15 seconds.
  • Fixed a bug in handling Fast User Switching that could leave App Tamer running in an account that you'd switched away from.
  • Corrected the helper application settings for Dreamweaver so BBEdit will continue to run when using Dreamweaver.
  • Fixed a bug in the French version - "Disable AutoStop..." did not bring up the delay prompt as it should have.
  • Fixed an incorrect status message that would be shown after waking from sleep if AutoStop was turned off.
  • Added an expert option to turn off the drawer animation. Use this command in Terminal: defaults write com.stclairsoft.AppTamer noAnimation 1
  • Added BBEdit as a helper application for Xcode. This is necessary because if BBEdit is running, Xcode checks in with it before doing a build to see if any project files have been changed by BBEdit.

Developer Feature

  • Developers can now declare helper applications in the info.plist file of their applications. App Tamer will stop and start helper apps along with the application. For example, if your app needs to make sure that iTunes stays awake while it's running, you can add this to your info.plist: <key>AppTamerHelperIdentifiers</key> <array> <string>com.apple.iTunes</string> </array>
Version 1.0.2 | Release Date: 2010-11-10 | Download

Feature changes and enhancements

  • App Tamer is now more efficient so it it consumes less CPU power itself.
  • The status menu in the menubar now shows CPU usage and savings.
  • Choosing 'Disable AutoStop' from the menubar menu will ask how long to disable it. AutoStop will be automatically reenabled after that time has elapsed.
  • App Tamer now automatically determines if an application is a 'helper' for a game or other application, and will keep it awake or put it to sleep along with its parent application.
  • App Tamer will no longer stop iTunes if it is playing music or a movie.
  • Status alerts have been added to make the Details drawer more understandable.
  • You can relaunch applications from the Application Manager's contextual menus.
  • When switching between accounts using Fast User Switching, App Tamer will automatically disable itself when you switch away from the account in which it's running and will turn itself back on when you return.

Bug fixes

  • Problems detecting downloads have been fixed. App Tamer will not stop browsers when they are downloading files.
  • OS X's spindump utility is now turned off when App Tamer starts up. This corrects performance problems and stuttering that some users have reported.
  • App Tamer no longer automatically opens its window when you bring it to the front.
  • If App Tamer is set as a login item with the 'hide' checkbox turned on, it will now be properly hidden after login.
  • Under Mac OS 10.5, kernel_task will no longer include all idle cpu time - its %CPU value is now reported correctly.
  • Problems with incorrect window dimming and undimming have been fixed.
  • When dimming the Finder's windows, the Desktop will no longer dim along with its windows.
  • Corrected a problem which caused windows to brighten and then dim again while apps were stopped in the background.
  • When App Tamer isn't frontmost, the on/off switch is disabled so clicking to bring App Tamer to the front doesn't accidentally change the setting.
  • The 'awake' period is now longer after the computer wakes from sleep (10 seconds instead of 5).
  • App Tamer now knows details about Parallels Desktop so that its background processes are properly stopped and started along with it.
  • Added application-specific warnings for Default Folder X.

Geek Features

  • There is now a manual preference option to hide applications when they're AutoStopped. To turn it on, quit App Tamer and then use this command in Terminal: defaults write com.stclairsoft.AppTamer hideWhenStopped 1 To turn the feature back off, use defaults write com.stclairsoft.AppTamer hideWhenStopped 0
  • When window dimming is turned on, the brightness of the dimmed windows can be modified with a defaults setting. Run this command in Terminal (the default value is 65% - lower percentages are darker, higher percentages are brighter): defaults write com.stclairsoft.AppTamer dimPercentage 65
Version 1.0.1 | Release Date: 2010-09-23 | Download
  • If you clicked in the Dock and then immediately quit App Tamer, it would occasionally leave some applications' windows grayed out (though the apps were actually running). This has been fixed.
  • AutoStop will not stop an application until it has been running for more than 30 seconds. This prevents most applications from getting stopped before they finish launching.
  • If App Tamer can't communicate with its helper application, it complains and tries to relaunch it. This would sometimes happen erroneously if your machine was running very slowly. App Tamer has been modified to account for this situation.
  • If you are running both Flash Player and Flash (when debugging Flash projects, for example), App Tamer will keep both of them running if either one is in front, even if you have AutoStop turned on for Flash.
  • App Tamer no longer warns you about a conflict with Witch because the new release of Witch fixes the problem. See http://manytricks.com/witch/ for more information.
  • App Tamer is now more efficient so it uses less CPU time itself.
Version 1.0 | Release Date: 2010-09-17 | Download
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