October 15, 2014

The App-rentice, Week 1: Caffeine

Written By Rebecca Larkin

To mark the tenth series of The Apprentice, the team at Roller are reviewing an app each week the show airs.

Our first app to be reviewed is Caffeine, an app designed to prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep.

Developed by Lighthead Software, Caffeine is compatible with OS X10.6 or later and once installed sits at the top right-hand side of the menu bar represented by a small cup of coffee logo.

Caffeine allows users to decide how long the computer can be inactive before sending it to sleep. Choice of times to set your Mac to stay awake for range from 5 minutes to indefinitely, which allowed me to chose a setting to suit the project I was working on, yet not keep waste energy if I did happen to be away from the desk for a longer period of time.

Despite being really simple to use, Caffeine is effective at solving an annoying problem when switching between working on a different device or working partly on paper. This saved me the time usually spent logging back onto my Mac. Other situations I found it useful in were taking Skype calls, watching programs/films not on full screen mode and keeping my Mac awake whilst downloading software.

The 4 star App Store rating appears to be justified, especially when compared to all of the positive reviews posted online and since the app is free to download. However, if you do download the app, bear in mind the time settings are active from the time you set them, not from when your Mac becomes inactive. So if you set the duration to 15 minutes and work for 20 before leaving your desktop unattended, the app will not prevent sleep mode occurring. This is something I initially found slightly annoying. Especially because I wasn’t always sure when or how long I wouldn’t be using my Mac for. My overall score would still be 4/5 because once I’d got over this small hiccup it has been helpful!

Roller App-rentice Score – 4/5!