Dare to be Creative has released Sponge, a system cleaning and optimization tool for Mac OS X. The tagline for the product, summing up the aim of Sponge well, is:
You’re running out of disk space? You want to clean your disk to free up some space and get rid of the clutter? Sponge is a tool to keep your Mac clean and tidy.
Sponge combines three different techniques to clean up your Mac: removing applications, locating the large files on your drive and finding duplicates.
- Removing applications: Sponge generates a list of all the applications installed on your system, how much space these applications occupy, and their associated files and folders. Sponge then provides the facility to remove applications safely from the system.
- Sweeping disk hogs: Sponge will show which files and directories take up the most space, giving you a starting point for cleaning some of the clutter from your Mac. Once you’ve tracked them down, Sponge can conveniently swipe them off your disk.
- Finding duplicates: With all the attachments, memos, letters and other documents with which we are flooded in today’s world, it’s easy to lose track and accidentally save duplicates of files. Sponge makes finding these multiple copies easy.
Likes and Dislikes
The aspect of Sponge I’m most impressed with is that the creators have thought to put these three tools together in one piece of software. I commonly use similar software to sweep my disk and remove applications, and have never thought to perform an in-depth search for duplicate files before now. Finding duplicates works well and has a simple interface for determining which file is the most up to date.
Unfortunately, I haven’t completely fallen for the application uninstall feature. One main issue is that Sponge generates a list of all your installed applications — this takes time, and limits the choice of apps to uninstall. I’d prefer to be able to point to a file/application and have Sponge find all the associated resources to remove.
Finally, the ‘Sweep Disk Hogs’ tool impressed me with its speed. Previous applications I’ve used for this functionality have scanned the entire hard drive. Sponge allows you to drill down folder-by-folder, making it considerably quicker. It isn’t as easy to get a picture of your whole drive but is still straight forward to find large, cumbersome files.
Some other utilities which can perform similar functions to Sponge include AppZapper, a software uninstallation tool, and DiskInventory X, capable of showing the biggest files on your hard drive. From experience of using all three, I am of the opinion that AppZapper and DiskInventory perform a better overall job in their respective categories. However, Sponge seems unique in offering all three of these facilities in one package. If you’re looking for a single tool to help clean up the files on your system, Sponge could be a good option. It costs $19.95, but a full 15 day trial is available.