More Option key menu bar tricks in Snow Leopard

In my last blog post, The Option key does even more in Snow Leopard, I told you about a cool new feature that I found in Mac OS X, 10.6, Snow Leopard.

Since holding down the Option key brought up a whole new Sync menu, I wondered what other secrets might be hidden in the Menu bar. I started with the Spotlight icon:

Without Option key:




With Option key:




There's no change here. Let's try the clock:

Without Option key:




With Option key:




There is no change here either. Maybe I'm on the WRONG track? Let's try one more, the Battery icon.

Without Option key:




With Option key:




Now we are getting somewhere! Holding down the Option key caused the battery condition to be reported. Since I had no idea what might be reported if the condition was not normal, I did a bit of searching. I went to the Apple Support page for Snow Leopard at http://www.apple.com/support/snowleopard/. I entered "Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard battery condition" in the Search Support box:



I was lead to an article, Mac OS X v10.6: About the Battery menu bar extra for portable Macs. You can find it at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3782.

On to the Volume icon:

Without Option key:




With Option key:




This is pretty neat! I can actually change the sound inputs and outputs without opening the Sound Preferences. This can be important if you use a microphone, headphones or an external speaker.

Let't try the AirPort icon:

Without Option key:




With Option key:




This is some seriously cool information. It's a bit geeky, but it will be really helpful in troubleshooting AirPort connection issues.

On to the TimeMachine icon:

Without Option key:




With Option key:




This is an interesting one! I will have to check out this feature. Does that mean I can recover files from other computers on my network that are using different backup drives?

I also checked out Displays, iChat, and Keyboard. The Option key did not cause changes in those.

I have lots more to explore in Snow Leopard, but this is enough for today! I hope you are enjoying Snow Leopard if you have it installed. If you are waiting, just look at all the hidden new features!

Pat

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