What is Amphetamine Enhancer?

Amphetamine Enhancer is a forthcoming application that expands several core Amphetamine features. In its 1.0 release, Amphetamine Enhancer will add the following abilities to Amphetamine:

  • Keep your Mac awake while in closed-display mode (while not meeting Apple's requirements)
  • "See" additional processes running on your Mac for use with Triggers and app-based sessions 


Why is a Separate App Needed?

Amphetamine itself is a sandboxed app. All apps distributed through the Mac App Store are sandboxed (it's a requirement). Sandboxing severely limits what an app can do on your Mac. This is usually a good thing as it helps prevent malware and viruses from taking over your Mac or stealing your information. 

Unfortunately, sandboxing also means that actions that require administrative access can't be done by the sandboxed app. Getting a list of every single app and process running on your Mac requires administrative access. Preventing your Mac from sleeping while its display is closed and not meeting Apple's requirements requires administrative access. That's where Amphetamine Enhancer comes in. Since Amphetamine Enhancer is not distributed through the App Store, it's not sandboxed and isn't limited in the same ways Amphetamine is.

Why Not Un-Sandbox Amphetamine and Distribute it Outside the App Store?

Amphetamine is quite a popular app, and for good reason (it's awesome!). Amphetamine is downloaded hundreds to thousands of times every day. For better or worse, the App Store is an easy way to distribute apps. As an independent developer, with little to no income from my apps, I don't have a desire or the financial resources to pay out-of-pocket for the bandwidth and web hosting fees that would be incurred by distributing Amphetamine outside of the App Store. I don't have an advertising budget either. Amphetamine has become popular via word-of-mouth and its consistently high App Store ranking (which gives it visibility to those browsing the App Store charts). This popularity caused Apple to feature Amphetamine in an App Store Story. None of this would have ever happed without the App Store as a distribution channel.

Beyond that, the majority of people who use Amphetamine have no need for the advanced features that Amphetamine Enhancer provides. Losing the ease-of-distribution and App Store ranking visibility would only hurt Amphetamine's user-base growth.

How Does Amphetamine Enhancer Get Administrative Access?

You might be concerned with how it's possible for Amphetamine Enhancer to gain administrative access to your Mac. This is definitely something you should care about. Good for you!

Amphetamine Enhancer requires that you add a new item (a secure note, to be specific) to macOS' keychain. This keychain item must contain your user account password. Amphetamine Enhancer is then able to use this keychain item to run scripts as an administrator on your Mac. Amphetamine never stores, publishes, or transmits your user account password. Your password remains encrypted in macOS' keychain.

Can I Trust Amphetamine Enhancer Not to Steal My Info and Hack My Mac?

Amphetamine Enhancer is open-source. This is so you can feel comfortable that it is not stealing your information, infecting your Mac, or doing anything else naughty.

Where Do I Download Amphetamine Enhancer?

When Amphetamine Enhancer becomes available, it will be available on Github.