Friday should be a day reserved for freebies. And not just free Mac apps, either. I’m thinking free fries at McDonald’s. Free latte at Starbucks. Free entry through toll booths. Free movies and TV shows on iTunes.
Today’s freebie is QuickSleep, a free Mac utility which helps to put your Mac to sleep– actual sleep mode– with little more than a click. There’s not much to putting your Mac to sleep, right? Change a few settings in System Preferences > Energy Saver and you’re good to go.
Options are plenty in Energy Saver. Except for one. You can set it to turn the Mac’s display off; one of the biggest battery and energy hogs. There’s even an option to put the hard disks to sleep. Hard disks? How quaint. This is the age of SSDs. Or, simply prevent the Mac from sleeping when the display goes off.
All of those are well and good and your Mac– iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, or Mac notebook– will get to them sooner or later after you step away from the Mac to get those free lattes at Starbucks or free fries at McDonald’s. But if you absolutely positively must put your Mac to sleep now, this very moment, instantly, QuickSleep works OK. It’s a Mac Menubar app but all it requires is a click and you’re good to go to get the freebies I mentioned (if they’re available; if not, there’s next week, or maybe never, commerce being what it is).
There’s also a free way to put the screen to sleep– but not the Mac itself– is a bit convoluted but actually easier to us. It’s the Desktop & Screen Saver option in System Preferences. Open it and you’ll see the Hot Corners button in the lower right corner. Click it. The pop down window gives you options for each of the Mac screen’s four corners. Slide the screen pointer to a corner and it does what you told it to do. The options are many, including screen sleep, but Start Screen Saver, Desktop, Dashboard, Notification Center, and Launchpad are also available, among others.
Why do Apple’s gadgets need to sleep? I mean, the Mac does it, even if plugged in. So does iPhone and iPad. It’s no secret that waking a device from a slumber takes a few extra seconds but the obvious comes to mind. Battery life. The screen itself takes up a huge amount of the battery’s juice, even when we’re not on Facebook or taking movies of the children you’re glad are not yours or playing pirates in HearthStone or flipping through Flipboard and wondering how the news outlets make any money.
In mobile devices, battery life is almost everything, but there’s also a need to keep some items in good working order, and just like humans, a little sleep goes a long way. If I’m not using my Mac, it goes to sleep. When my iPhone goes into a pocket or purse, the screen goes off, and all that helps to reduce battery use.