XSysInfo memory manager
Peek under the iOS bonnet with this diagnostic app
iOS App of the Week Android devices have a memory manager utility that can show you which apps and services are running in the background, and allow you to shut them down in order to free up some extra memory.
XSysInfo provides more data than iOS 4's multitasking menu, including apps' impact on battery life (right)
Apple, being Apple, likes to keep that sort of information hidden away from its users. You can double-click the Home button on an iOS device to see which apps are running – and, to be fair, that’s probably all the detail that most people need to know.
But if you want a bit more information about what’s going on inside your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch then you should check out XZone Software's XSysInfo, which was recently updated to work with the iPad 2.
The app now supports the iPad 2 - where the UI has more room to breathe
The app’s main, Usage screen provides a number of details, including a breakdown of memory usage, apps and processes that are running, along with estimated battery life for tasks such as playing audio, video or web browsing. It also provides some basic network monitoring tools, including IP and MAC addresses, and the amount of data you’ve uploaded or downloaded.
Shake it, baby
There’s a ‘deep clean’ option that allows you to shake the device and shut down non-essential apps – and this did shut down apps such as the BBC iPlayer and The Guardian to free up some memory, while leaving core processes running uninterrupted.
The Deep Clean feature (left) shuts down memory hogging apps
There's a handy tech specs database too
However, it’s a shame that it doesn’t allow you to selectively shut down individual apps that might be causing problems. Some users of previous versions have also reported that this option sometimes failed to work, although it worked perfectly well when I tested it on both an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2.
XsysInfo, then, is a useful diagnostic tool for technically knowledgeable users who want to know a little more about the inner workings of their iOS device. ®
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