Mactracker : A very handy detailed Mac / Apple History App
During the office clearout, i.e listing things on eBay, we needed a way to ensure we had the right information for listings. The internet doesn't always make things clear and so when we stubmled upon Mactracker we had to mention it here.
Aside from listing the general specification of your computer, where possible, Mactracker will link you to datasheets where possible on how to perform upgrades. So for my system it links me to how to remove or install memory and change the battery.
There is a wealth of information to be hard with this application covering everything from the earliest days of Apple right through to the latest iOS revisions. I did end up losing the best part of an hour taking a trip down the Apple memory Lane due to the built in Timeline feature.
Timeline let's you drill through the company's past in chronological order. This came in handy when looking for an Apple airport extreme and trying to decipher from eBay, what was the newer model. Only products that were and she released can be found here so if you were looking for details of the Apple Pippin you'll need to consult somewhere else.
Details of any Apple product can be exported into an XML file. It's a shame that the application doesn't support an RTF format as this would using the information for general display purposes a touch easier.
Nestled away in the preferences you can change units and currencies and turn on iCal support. When this option is selected, you can add warranty expiration events or reminders to the selected calendar.
Comparisons are inevitable.
I wasn't aware of this feature to a trawled from through the Mactracker website looking for ideas and this is perhaps the best feature of the program. Comparison allows you to select up to 4 models and highlight differences in their respective technical specifications. Coming back to my eBay shopping Festival this feature alone gave me more confidence to make an informed purchase.
To start with you may think that being able to see the differences of compatible items is quite simply brilliant and as you can see the changes are clearly highlighted with red background shading.
Yet there is a huge annoyance a huge annoyance is that you can only compare models in the timeline area and in the same year. So you can't select your Mac from the "This Mac" category then dive into the timeline to select a different model.
We fired off an e-mail to the author of the application to see if this is by design or if we are simply doing something wrong. As soon as / if we get a response, we will update the review accordingly. Low and behold the developer was only too happy to reply, please see the bottom of this review for his response.
At the bottom of the screen is the my models and area, clicking plus lets you add your Mac hardware to that filter. Quite why I can't right click my Mac in the This Mac and then add to my models is a bit of a mystery.
With all the available data why should I have to enter it manually? It turns out that this is possible, please see the updated notes below.
There really are a multitude of uses for this program. For me, being able to research items I'm purchasing and selling on eBay, this program came into its own.
It's a really big shame about the timeline comparison feature and the only thing that stops it getting full marks in the process.
Mactracker Is available for free from the App Store. If you like the application and use it often then please consider donating to the author
I'd like to take a moment to address anyone who reads this blog to let them know how much we appreciate getting response from developers of any application or products will send them an e-mail. For me personally, it really does bring a smile to my face to get a response from an e-mail. So many times we chuck e-mail towards a developer or companies bringing forward problems we've had a constructive manner in the aid to get some help. After all our whole ethos is to review something fairly and squarely on its merits.
Its responses from developers who obviously care passionately about their product that made me realise why I bought myself a Mac in the 1st place.
We sent an e-mail to the developer of Mactracker and he was kind enough to provide is with this response.
Hi Essentialmac, thanks for the review!
Changing the category does clear the selection so the best would be to compare using, in this situation, the MacBook pro category. You could also use the all models view to compare, say an iBook, to a Mac book air. Shift- or command-click to select multiple models.
With regards to adding the current Mac to "My Models", you can click the "Change" button and then select "This Mac" to populate the fields with information from the current Mac including serial number and network information.