App Directory: The Best System Monitor For iPhone

At a glance, system monitors might not seem as useful on your iPhone as they are on a desktop computer, but they can pack in a lot of good data. This includes detailed battery life breakdowns, storage space and data speeds. For the average user, our favourite system monitor for the iPhone is Omnistat.

Omnistat

Platform: iPhone (and iPad) Price: $2.99 Download Page

Features

  • Customisable Notification Center widgets let you decide what data is shown and where it shows up.
  • Universal app for iPad and iPhone. Also includes Apple Watch support.
  • Shows activity and stats for: device name, device model, current OS version, current OS build number, device uptime, Wi-Fi details, mobile carrier data usage, download and upload speed, storage information, CPU usage and battery details.
  • Choose when your data plan resets so you can always track mobile data usage accurately.
  • Estimates remaining battery time.

Where It Excels

Omnistat's biggest strength are the Notification Center widgets. A system monitor is something you want quick access to, and Notification Center widgets are a clever way of doing that. With Omnistat you can customise which stats appear as widgets, and any time you want to take a glance at them you can just pull down on the Notification Center. Omnistat gives each activity its own widget, so you can customise the layout in Notification Center easily.

Beyond that, Omnistat provides the details most people want. This includes battery life, including estimations for remaining talk, text and data time. You can also easily track Wi-Fi and mobile data usage. For data usage, Omnistat supports creating an automated reset date for mobile data so it's always in time with your data plan. If you're running on a 16GB iPhone or you're just always against the wall with remaining space, the storage widget is extremely helpful for keeping your remaining storage space in check. Omnistat has plenty of other widgets, from network details to device CPU usage, so it should have the data you need access to the most.

Where It Falls Short

Omnistat excels because of the inclusion of Notification Center widgets. However, Omnistat is not the most extensive system monitor available. While it does track most activities the average user wants, it's missing a lot of data for anyone looking for a more granular approach. Likewise, Omnistat gives a lot of overview data, but you can't focus on more specific information, like what hours you tend to use more data, a history of Wi-Fi networks, or anything else like that.

The Competition

Omnistat is great for the average person looking to glance at a few broad bits of information, but if you want to dig really deep into data, it's not the app you want. Thankfully, the system monitor space is pretty packed full of solid apps.

For those who love massive amounts of system details, System Monitor Ultimate (Free) is worth a look. System Monitor Ultimate displays a ton of data about your CPU, GPU, network and active connections. System Monitor Ultimate is not exactly the best looking system monitor around nor is it packed with features, but it's free and displays just about every bit of data you can track on an iPhone. There's no Notification Center widget support, but if widgets aren't your thing, System Monitor Ultimate is the app you want.

If you're looking for the same amount of data as System Monitor Ultimate with more interactive features, then System Status ($4.49) fits the bill. On top of monitoring a number of data points, network information, battery and memory, System Status also shows you file statistics, detailed page statistics, tracks three minutes of background activity and allows you to export all those charts over email. If you love to look at and save activity monitor data, but don't care about the widgets, System Status does the job.

Finally, Omnistat isn't the only system monitor with widgets, Usage Widget (Free/$1.49) and SnapStats (Free) both include Notification Center widgets alongside basic system monitors. Unlike Omnistat, both apps display all the stats in a single widget, so you can't move them around or customise them quite as much. That's a preference thing though, so if you don't mind all your data being jammed into one spot, both apps are worth a look.


Lifehacker's App Directory recommends the best applications and tools across multiple platforms.


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