iStat Mini

As I discussed on Let’s Talk iOS episode 39, Bjango’s iStat Menus is one of my favorite Mac apps. It’s an app that places a wealth of system status information right in the Mac’s menu bar.

The same folks behind iStat Menus have come up with a new app geared towards OS X Yosemite. The app, which is cleverly entitled iStat Mini, places a simple widget in Notification Center’s Today View.

Like its big brother, iStat Mini allows you to quickly view the CPU usage, disk usage, and memory usage on your Mac. It also allows you to monitor your Mac’s upstream and downstream bandwidth.

Have a look at our 4K ultra-high resolution video walkthrough after the break for more details.

Once you install iStat Mini, just enable it widget via Notification Center. There are no options to configure, and no settings to adjust.

While its nice to have such information accessible via a Notification Center widget, users who are looking for something on par with the original iStat Menus will probably be disappointed with the lack of depth provided by iStat Mini. There’s no in-depth stats for things like fan speed, disk I/O, CPU temperature or any of the other seemingly endless statistics provided by iStat Menus.

That being said, the price of iStat Mini ($1.99) matches its limited feature set. iStat Mini was obviously designed to be quickly digestible and easy to use. If you’re willing to spend the $16 single user license asking price for iStat Menus 5, then you’ll be granted a lot more depth as a result.

I see iStat Mini as more of a casual user feature for those who desire a quick glimpse at basic system stats. It’s definitely not for power users, but it has its place. You can download iStat Mini for $1.99 from the Mac App Store.

What are your thoughts on iStat Mini?

  • Jack Wong

    I will stick with the regular istat widget.

    • ivyespalier (Randy)

      I would love to, but there is no Dashboard in the new OS X. I’m not sure what to do, I miss the old dashboard already.

      • Jack Wong

        Huh?! I still have it, I have been using the beta.

      • Demis John

        You get the Dashboard by viewing all desktops – one of them is the dashboard. On my mac it’s F3

      • ivyespalier (Randy)

        Not on my Mac. You have to turn it on somewhere in the settings for a clean install. Apple abandoned Dashboard awhile ago, now it is moving toward killing it. I bet it will be completely gone in the next version of the OS.

  • This could/should really be cheaper for the extent of its functionality. It’s first, but it won’t be the only widget soon.

    EDIT: Monity is cheaper (99c)/better.

  • rockdude094

    Umm okay

  • marcedwards

    Thank you very much for the review, Jeff!

    > iStat Mini was obviously designed to be quickly digestible and easy to use.

    Yes, that was definitely our intention. We’re hoping to add more features to iStat Mini, but it’s unlikely to ever cover the range of stats iStat Menus has (mostly because of space and because there’s a lot we can’t do due to sandboxing).

    But, we do want iStat Mini to be the very best Today Widget of its kind. 🙂

    • Great work Marc, I’m a big fan of your stuff. you guys have covered all bases well—power and causal users—and I think there are tangible benefits to both apps. Plus, iStat Mini looks great in the NC on Yosemite. I would like some color customization options, though; that would be sweet. 🙂

    • ndre

      Hi,
      for people who own the “bigger brother” iStat Menus, why not developing notification center widgets to have some information there instead of the menu? In that way the “mini” edition would be fully contained into the “full” one. I would like to make use of the notification center, but right now I’d have to buy a new app and have stats with an inferior level of depth.

      • marcedwards

        We may do that, but Notification Center Today Widgets are still quite new, and we’re being a little cautious with how we use the feature. There’s still quite a few unknowns and things we’re trying out. There’s some features that simply may not be possible in a Today Widget, and some things that will work well. We have a lot to do before we know what’s good to ship. But, I agree that it would be great as part of iStat Menus, somehow.

  • Neat stuff…

  • Markas Bell

    I’m guessing the reason the widget is so limited is the same reason that iStats is not on the Mac App Store- meaning sandboxing restrictions imposed by Apple.

    Also the reason iStats doesn’t interact with the widget, I presume.

    • marcedwards

      There’s some things we should be able to add, but you’re pretty much on the money. iStat Menus does many things that fall outside sandboxing rules.

  • Merman123

    You can also two finger swipe from the right edge of the trackpad instead of having to click the notification center button!

  • Pretty; but yeah; needs some customization options

    • marcedwards

      We’re working on iStat Mini 1.1, with some more customisation. Should be a nice update.

  • Tronjheim79

    I’m using Monity.

  • Chetan

    I use iStat Pro on dashboard and its very detailed and free..

    • ivyespalier (Randy)

      There is no Dashboard in the new OS X

      • Chetan

        No dashboard?? Go to mission control settings and turn it on.. LOL..

      • marcedwards

        Yeah. It’s unloved, but still there… for now. 😀

  • marcedwards

    Some things are possible while abiding by sandboxing rules, but some things are not. We’re definitely exploring ways to add more stats.

    • ivyespalier (Randy)

      I installed the iStat Menus and I really like it, but it is very expensive for what it does, so I doubt I’ll buy the full version. It is really nice though.

      • marcedwards

        “very expensive for what it does” — Please note that adding support for fans and temps means we have to buy every single Mac model that Apple releases. We have a small team and we’ve worked on iStat-related apps for almost a decade now. “What it does” is quite difficult. The apps may look simple, but I assure you they’re not.

  • marcedwards

    Yep, when we made iStat Pro, it was a huge effort and we often needed help from many friends and acquaintances to get support happening for fans and temps. It’s also why giving it away for free wasn’t sustainable. iStat Menus is a commercial product, so we take the support even more seriously, which is why we buy every model to test. That really is the only way to ensure it is done properly.