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BatteryBar Pro: Even batter taskbar battery management
I originally review BatteryBar back in Feb 2009 in the article “BatteryBar – Ultimate taskbar battery management“. Essentially, BatteryBar adds a slick looking battery life meter to the Windows taskbar. It comes with detailed battery life information and some gorgeous eye candy in a mouse over dialog. My original review covered the standard “FREE” version of BatteryBar and outlined the additional features you get with BatteryBar Pro. The developer was kind enough to provide me with a license key so I could evaluate BatteryBar Pro. Unfortunately, I’d sold my personal laptop and only had an Asus Eeepc. At that time BatteryBar did not work with the Asus netbook. However, since that time Osiris Development has overcome the issues with the Asus Netbooks and I’m please to say it works awesome!
BatteryBar Free version use is as as easy as could be. Simply right-clicking on the taskbar and choosing Toolbars -> BatteryBar from the menu. The meter button changes from blue to green when you are on battery power, and clicking on the meter button switches the display between actual time remaining or a percentage view. The percentage meter is calculated using a statistical prediction that keeps a history of how quickly your battery usually drains to more accurately predict battery life—so the time remaining may seem a little odd at first.
The PRO version of BatteryBar adds some additional functionality.
Features in the Pro version:
Customizable themes to change the look and feel of BatteryBar
BatteryBar Pro ships with several additional themes that allow you to customize the look of the application in your taskbar. EVERY skin shipped looks amazing. More often than not applications that offer “additional skins” provide you with some janky looking addons. Not the case with BatteryBar Pro. Every skin looks great and offers a wide variety of looks. You can also create your OWN skin. BatteryBar Pro takes an easy approach to skinby using a simple to use XML definition file and a set of images. You can read up on how to create your own skin on the documentation site. The author is also looking for user submissions to distribute with the application (my guess is that you’d better make it look slick, in line with the rest of BatteryBar or it won’t make the cut).
Low battery and critical battery notifications and audio alerts
BatteryBar monitors your battery life and when your battery power gets low, BatteryBar will notify you with a popup window and a sound. A second notification window appears when your battery reaches critical level.
A sample of the low battery warning popup
A sample of the critical battery warning popup
BatteryBar Pro provides you with the ability to change 20 different settings so that you can customize BatteryBar to your own needs. Some available settings are font, low battery warning levels, popups, etc.
Change the current Windows power scheme by right-clicking on BatteryBar
This feature is just a handy addition, and honestly something you’d expect out of an application as well made as BatteryBar. It’s a simple as it sounds… right click on BatteryBar Pro and change your current power scheme.
The developer also promises that additional features will be released in future versions that will only be available in the Pro version. Since BatteryBar is obviously in active development (I was SOOOO pleasantly surprised to see Asus netbook support added) I can’t wait to see what additional features are coming down the pipe.
Can you do without the “PRO” features? Sure… but for the incredibly low price charged for the Pro version I cannot imagine why you would not want the additional features provided by BatteryBar Pro? BatteryBar has always been a free application. On it’s own it’s an incredibly useful and attractive addition to your notebook. However, for $9.95 you can upgrade to BatteryBar Pro and get all the additional features listed above. This is an example of a great application, one that’s actively being developed, being sold for an extremely fair and attractive price. In fact… if you order before June 1, 2009 you can get BatteryBar Pro for the low price of $7.95!
Checkout the developers site for more information and grab your copy of BatteryBar Pro!