There are two basic ways to monitor your Mac’s system health; system, memory, network, storage, and battery. The first is tried and true and free but anything but simple. It’s the Activity Monitor app already on your Mac (open Applications, open Utilities, open Activity Monitor).
Activity Monitor is packed with useful information and tools that can help you track down a problem, and dispose of offending apps and processes with little more than a click or two. It displays CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network details, but also a new battery shaming-like function built in so you can see which apps hog the most Mac resources.
I like Activity Monitor and I recommend it, even to friends, family, and co-workers (with all the resulting support issues that accompany such a recommendation). But the utility is clumsy, confusing, and anything but a typical Apple app which should be understandable from the get go.
Enter Monity, a cleverly designed and elegant Mac monitor system which resides in the Notification Center. With a single click to the Notification Center icon in the Mac’s Menubar you get all this.
Monity monitors all these different functions on your Mac.
Memory Usage – What you get is what’s also visible in Activity Monitor but in a more visual, usable display (Wired, Active, Inactive, Compressed, Free Memory) or new OS X Style Memory Pressure format (App-Memory, File-Cache, Reserved, Compressed, Available & Used Memory).
CPU System Usage – Included as percentage or load average are running Processes and Threads, in addition to Uptime.
Battery Status – Amazingly, many such system monitoring utilities forget about the battery in a Mac, yet about two-thirds of all Macs sold are notebooks. Realtime battery usage is displayed and visible at a glance, including load cycles, current charge, time left, and capacity. Plus, it displays mouse, trackpad and wireless keyboard battery levels.
Network Activity – This is a simple list of stats from realtime incoming and outgoing traffic, total bandwidth over time, and LAN or WAN IP addresses (easily copied to the clipboard for troubleshooting).
App Usage Stats – I like this but it could be better. It displays realtime, per app usage stats for the top five apps with the highest CPU usage. This is good for battery shaming apps which suck up too much CPU and too much battery juice.
Temperature & Sensors – This is so cool but so useful for Macs where the fan goes off too often. Monity monitors temperature and power consumption using the Mac’s built-in sensors.
Customizable Dashboard – Monity has a bit of eye candy, so it’s not just a collection of stats. Setup 2, 4, or 6 panels on a single page to make sure the data and stats you want to see are always visible a click away.
I’ve probably tried out every Mac system monitor app available; from free to expensive, but Monity fits in the middle with a modest price tag, and plenty of useful features. Earlier versions were not review worthy, but the past two versions caught my attention for stability and improvements.