The XSysInfo app for iOS devices displays a wealth of system info. It also provides estimates of time available for various tasks like video playback or talk time. In addition, it will clean up the device’s memory for better app performance.
Apple likes to keep things as simple as possible so that people can focus on the magic of their iOS device. But for the technically curious, XSysInfo provides a wealth of system info. For example, recently, I wrote an article abut iPad clock drift and surmised that there is no NTP process running. XSysInfo will show a list of all running processes, and, bingo, NTP isn’t among them. So it’s little things like that that fascinate the user with a technical interest that make this app appealing.
The app is straightforward, and in this review I’ll describe the iPad version. The Category button on the top left selects from several pages of data: Usage, Processes, Estimated Work Time, Network, Device identity, and tech Specs. The gear button on the top right manages memory cleanup options.
Here’s the default page on the iPad.
Here are the memory management options.
Memory Management Options
XZone Software explained in an e-mail: Clean memory at launch option “allows you to start memory cleaning operations right after application start, so if cleaning memory is the only thing you use XSysInfo for (so we do), this option is for you. It simlifies cleaning process for tap and wait 5 seconds operations. Unless this option is on you need to manually start memory cleaning process by pressing refresh button on main screen (Usage option).
Deep clean: this option allows to free much more memory. When you use your iDevice and continuously start new apps device memory perfomance degrades, because all apps in background continue to use memory. And when you start any app that needs a lot of memory it will start slowly and even may crash. That’s the case for using XSysInfo. XSysInfo will pull out of memory all the apps in background — that’s technically killing other processes which use memory. And besides the app cuts some memory from operating system. So such memory eating apps like games will start smoothly after using XSysInfo. Unfortunately this may lead app to crash, however the memory will be cleaned.”
Here are the categories (pages) of data you can view:
For example, here’s the list of running process (truncated).
The tech specs are just a static page of information, but the nice touch is four tabs that let you see all the tech specs for the iPad 1, iPad 2, GSM and CDMA models.
Finally, the app will estimate the time you have left for various activities such as audio & video playback, talk time, browsing over Wi-Fi, and Standby (iPhone). The data displayed for the iPad is not as extensive as for the iPhone. The developer explained the problem — see below.
Estimated work time - iPad 2
Estimated work time - iPhone 4
What I liked
The app displays just about every tidbit of technical system information for the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone you could think of. For example, if you’d like to know how much RAM your iPhone 3GS has, this app will tell you that. UNIX professionals who haven’t jailbroken the iPhone will find the list of running processes fodder for more analysis and insights. Casual users will like being able to call up the specs of the device they’re using.
What I Didn’t Like
I would like to see an option for black text on a light grey background. I’m not a big fan of white text on black. I would like to see more entries in the iPad Estimated Work Time, for example, iPod playback. [The developer explained, however, that what’s shown is the only information currently available to them on an iPad.] I would like to see more detailed technical info on the memory clearing option in one of those info (i) pages in the manner explained above.
Do I Recommend it?
For the casual, non-technical user, I do not. However, for the person who has a technical background, absolutely. The customers love it. Other tech columnists love it, and I love it.
iPhone, iPod touch, iPad. iOS 3.0 or later.