LoginControl 2.0 review

Although Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) offers many improvements over its predecessor Tiger, it also takes a few small steps backwards. One of those is that you can no longer choose the order in which login items open, which can be frustrating. At the same time, a much-requested feature that’s never been included in OS X is the ability to create different sets of login items.

Thoughtful Tree Software’s LoginControl 2.0 offers both features in an easy-to-use package. When you first launch LoginControl, its Live List displays the current list of login items. To customise the sequence in which items launch or open, you simply drag them up and down the list.

Your changes are automatically reflected in the actual Login Items list in System Preferences; similarly, if you make a change to the Login Items list in System Preferences, that change will immediately be reflected in LoginControl’s Live List.

You can also remove an item from the list by selecting it and clicking on the minus (-) button, or add an item to the list by dragging it into the LoginControl window or clicking on the plus (+) button. Again, your changes automatically sync with System Preferences.

But a far more useful feature is the ability to switch between multiple login-item lists. When you want to switch to a different list, you select it and then click on the Make Live List button that appears. The Live List’s contents are replaced by the contents of the selected list. The next time you log in, the new list of login items will be used.

Note that any changes you make in the Live List won’t be reflected in the original Saved List.

We’d like to see LoginControl offer an option to automatically save changes made to a Saved List while it’s the Live List.

OUR VERDICT

If you have a need to frequently switch between several lists of login items, LoginControl isn’t as hassle-free as it could be. Then again, even with these limitations it’s much less of a hassle than not using LoginControl at all.

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