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Memory Cleaner – Mac App Review

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Available from the Mac App store for $5.99, Memory Cleaner is an intriguing app, from the same developer that brought us Security Camera, which promises to make us ‘work more productively by freeing wasted memory’.

Read our comprehensive review below to help you decide whether this is the app you need to help your Mac run faster.

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We have a fair amount of RAM running on our office iMac’s that’s true. But even with 16GB on our late 2009 Core i7 iMac’s it can sometimes mean apps start crawling after a while and, by mid afternoon, we nearly always need to perform a restart just to get the apps behaving as they should.

That said, we often run Parallels Desktop (for Imatest), Excel, Word, Lightroom, Photoshop, ScreenSteps, MediaPro, Mail, Chrome, Safari and have Acrobat Pro open all at the same time. And if we really want to watch our memory leak away we’ll open Aperture as well (okay, we admit, it’s referencing images on a G-Technology external RAID 5 array).

We also have Activity Monitor showing just how much of our precious memory is being used at one time, indeed it’s a permanent fixture in our Dock. So when we got a chance to review this sweet little app we were tingling with anticipation. We’ll be honest, what you see above is really all there is to it.

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Well that’s not strictly true, when launched there’s a little icon in the menu bar, click that and you’ll open the window shown above (top).

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Parallels, Photoshop and Aperture all take their toll on memory allocation (and there are plenty of others that do too), but at least you can see exactly which programs are doing what and with only a small window open.

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Hit the Clean My Memory button, though, and you’ll see the above warning. We weren’t tempted to disobey, and so far we have been rewarded with glitch-free operation. The only unexpected behavior we did note, somewhat ironically, was that Memory Cleaner’s window would close and then not re-open while at the same time removing the icon from the memory bar, but clicking Memory Cleaner’s icon in the Dock would immediately reveal both. No untoward side-effects were observed.

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With all the previously mentioned apps open, though minimized as appropriate to our workflow at the time, we ran Memory Cleaner to see how efficiently Snow Leopard was handling the memory allocation.

As you can see from the above grab, Memory Cleaner recovered 1.1GB at a stroke, which is impressive (especially so in percentage terms). As well as that, another feature we really like about memory Cleaner is the realtime readout of free memory. Activity Monitor does the same but only if you have the main window open, which is kind of distracting in everyday use.

Activity Monitor’s icon, on the other hand (displaying memory allocation as a pie-chart in the dock) was a good compromise and but it’s not so much an essential addition now. We think having Memory Cleaner open, ready to clear the cache at anytime, is far handier. We can also see which apps are hogging RAM after they’ve been closed and release it if necessary.

We’ve been using Memory Cleaner a few days now, and we’re surprised by just how much more lively and responsive our office iMac’s feel, and while not a scientific test we wouldn’t want to go back to being without it.

Highly recommended – you can pick it up here from the Mac App store for $5.99

By Joanne Carter

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said.
Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London.
Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art.
Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK.
She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com

4 replies on “Memory Cleaner – Mac App Review”

Without being too cynical, I’ve found it better to have a large, fast drive(s) and maxxed out Ram before I use some app that isn’t explaining why memory is being wasted/fragmented. And OS X does use VM off the hard drive along with its own optimization. If you do photoshop, rule of thumbs throw the scratch disk setting at something fast (like a sacrificial raid 0 or ramdisk).
I would recommend looking at hardware limitations and over-utilization before considering app to free up ram. There, was I too cynical?
Oh, I’ve recommend your app site to friends. Cheers!

What is the difference between memory cleaner and disk cleaner? I am using the freeware clean software Maccleaning right now. I do not know if I need this one as well.

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