Amphetamine is the most awesome keep-awake utility ever created for macOS. Amphetamine can keep your Mac, and optionally its display, awake through a super simple on/off switch, or automatically through easy-to-configure Triggers. Amphetamine is extremely powerful and includes advanced features for those who need them, yet remains super intuitive and simple to use for those who don't need all the bells and whistles.
Starting with Amphetamine 5.0, Amphetamine can (for free) keep your MacBook awake while its display/lid is closed, lock the screen, and move the mouse cursor. In other keep-awake apps, these features come at a price ranging from 99¢ to $8.00, or more.
Other features, like keeping your Mac awake while a file is downloading, or while an app is running are (AFAIK) exclusive to Amphetamine. Being able to provide your own menu bar images and notification sounds, multiple options for displaying the time remaining - these features exist here and there throughout other apps, but only Amphetamine collects them all into one powerful and full-featured app.
Triggers are Amphetamine's most powerful feature, allowing you to automate keeping your Mac awake based on conditions like a specific USB or Bluetooth device being connected to your Mac, the name of the Wi-Fi network your Mac is connected to, the time of day, whether your Mac's power adapter is connected, or battery is charged to a certain level, etc. Triggers are super simple to set up and each Trigger you create can be disabled temporarily if you don't need it.
Let's all pay our respects to Caffeine. This app started it all, and is beloved around the world. Sadly, it seems to no longer be actively developed. It doesn't support Retina display, dark mode, and isn't available on the App Store anymore. Is it even a 64 bit app? Either way, Caffeine is/was certainly a great app, but a lack of updates has rendered it obsolete.
KeepingYouAwake replicates Caffeine's feature set well. Still, it lacks most of the advanced features that Amphetamine has. Both KeepingYouAwake and Amphetamine were first released back in 2014. KeepingYouAwake's goal appears to be to faithfully recreate the experience of running Caffeine, whereas Amphetamine's goal is build upon what Caffeine offered, and expand it in new and unexpected ways.
AntiSleep looks like it has more options than the standard fare of Caffeine-clones. That said, the user interface for AntiSleep leaves a lot to be desired. Some people complain about Amphetamine being too advanced, but the majority of Amphetamine's advanced features are tucked away in its Preferences. In AntiSleep, it seems the goal was to cram as much as possible in the app's menu. This may appealing for some folks... but it's not my cup of tea.
Lungo seems like a nice enough app, and I believe the developer contributes to a number of open source projects (yay!) but the story here is familiar. While Lungo excels at providing a simple app that we've all seen before, it lacks any of the advanced features that make Amphetamine best in class. That said, if you're looking for a simple no-frills app, Amphetamine provides you with the same basic feature set that Lungo charges $2.99 for. If you're all about supporting an open-source developer, donate directly to them, as Apple takes a 30% cut of App Store sales.
In times past, InsomniaX seems to have been the go-to app for keeping your Mac awake while its lid is closed. Sadly, InsomniaX is not longer actively developed. Starting with Amphetamine 5.0, you can accomplish this with Amphetamine too.
Caffeinated, CaffeinateMe, Coca, Coffee Black!, Don't Sleep!, Double Shot, Insomniac, Jolt of Caffeine, Monster, Owly, Prevent Sleep , Sleepless, Sleeper, Smart Insomnia, Taurine, Theine, etc.
Wow. Did you know the App Store was this flooded with keep-awake utilities? There's probably even more than what's on this list! All of these apps are pretty much the same. Their user interfaces might be slightly different, but they all fall short of what Amphetamine provides. These apps either show advertisements, require an in-app purchase to unlock all features, have an upfront cost, or are poorly designed (in my opinion).
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