System Utilities - App Update

Description: Derived from the successful Widget Update, App Update enables you to check for updates to your share- and freeware applications at Apple, MacUpdate and VersionTracker. You will be presented with a tidy list of links to the detail pages of all the updates found.

Among the key features are an extensive online-help, a configuration editor to tailor App Update to your very personal collection of applications, limited support for Quicktime Components, Frameworks and Preference Panes, automatic checking for updates and Growl support.

Like for Widget Update, graphics were designed by Mike Pogran.

Setup
In order to make App Update find the applications you want to monitor for updates, you have to set the directory (or directories) where you keep them through the "Path Settings" dialog on App Update's back.

If you have used Widget Update before, you should feel right at home!

For additional information, please refer to the online help that can be opened at any time with the keyboard shortcut Shift+H.
Author: gck
Version: 1.63
New in v1.63: Release notes available here: http://gkaindl.com/software/app-update/version-history
Uploaded on: August 29th 2009 at 8:57 AM
Rating: (4.92 stars)   [Show Detailed Ratings]
Downloads: 92455 (all versions), 27124 (this version)
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Comments

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Wow... that's all I can say... wow. What a great widget!

This one may be tough to beat for the "Best New Widget" contest.

Posted by: pm (Administrator) on Feb 08, 06 (2:37 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

dude.... i love you

Posted by: andrethegiant on Feb 08, 06 (2:53 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Wow. This is what Apple should have done with Software Update. Great widget.

Posted by: dukemeiser on Feb 08, 06 (3:21 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

damn, best widget ever made... ever

Posted by: Bryan on Feb 08, 06 (3:41 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

Great idea! Thanks!!!

Posted by: JonW on Feb 08, 06 (3:45 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

My god you've really done it this time

Posted by: Motoi on Feb 08, 06 (4:33 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Best widget there ever is and ever will be! I would rate this ten stars if I could!

Posted by: dansgil on Feb 08, 06 (5:54 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

just great

Posted by: Vicelow on Feb 08, 06 (6:27 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Excellend widget! You've already won the "Best New Widget" contest for me smiley

Posted by: Rik on Feb 08, 06 (7:28 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

OMG! This is the best widget, I've ever seen (and I've seen many). This is really, really useful and works well with 90% of my software (around 80 applications installed). I'm going to donate today, this is simply incredible.

Posted by: VladiKacowicz on Feb 08, 06 (9:35 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Awesome widget. Easy to use with great built-in documentation. Thanks for one of the best and most practical widgets around! It going to save me a lot of trips to MU. smiley

Posted by: tydalw4ve on Feb 08, 06 (4:47 PM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

What is the standard PATH setting? for the applications folder?

is it Macintosh HD/Applications?

Posted by: mjgrothaus on Feb 08, 06 (11:57 PM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

really nice.

Posted by: Maraklov on Feb 09, 06 (12:23 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Wow. Great!

Posted by: jtbandes on Feb 09, 06 (1:29 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Totally awesome. I don't like the default of /Users/THEUSER/Applications is very good though. I've never seen Apps installed there, they all go in /Applications. But it is easy enough to change, and I have.

Posted by: CraigStanton on Feb 09, 06 (5:37 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Somewhere in the help file it says we should install the shareware and freeware it will check in another folder (separate from our main apps in /Applications). That's why the default path is ~/Applications.

Posted by: pm (Administrator) on Feb 09, 06 (11:51 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

An update checker should not be determining where we place our apps, it should be ready for the way we have our apps and work with it, I'm certainly not going to change my ways for the sake of a tool, the tool should be able to work with the majority of setups. THis one can but it takes a little modification.

Posted by: CraigStanton on Feb 10, 06 (1:15 PM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

It works perfectly fine for me when reading the entire Applications folder but I I think the reasoning behind the suggestion is that commercial apps like Photoshop aren't available for download on sites like MacUpdate so checking them for updates wouldn't do much good. I believe it's just a way to determine what can and cannot be checked.

Of course, I could be completely wrong.

Posted by: pm (Administrator) on Feb 10, 06 (8:19 PM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

powermac99: Yes, that's the reason! Reading the whole of /Applications is perfectly fine from a technical point of view.

Posted by: gck (developer) on Feb 10, 06 (9:58 PM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

There should be a checkbox to "exclude this app" from updates. For instance I have Toast 5.2.3, and yet the newest version is 7.0.2, which I would have to pay to update. There is no point in having it check this one when I know it's up-to-date.

Posted by: dukemeiser on Feb 11, 06 (2:49 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

There is: In 'Advanced', click the entry of that application, click 'Edit', click 'Source Settings' and check the checkboxes for all the update sources you do not want to be checked for this application...

Posted by: gck (developer) on Feb 11, 06 (11:11 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

I just tried searching both Google and this site for "Application Update" like it says right on the widget, and came up with nothing. Rather confusing. I'd recommend being consistent with the name!

It's a real pain in the *** dealing with the preferences on the back... You could make it a whole lot easier by having a button to edit settings next to each app in the results list. Something else that might be nice is just a little "x" button next to each result. Click that button and it won't tell you about that version from that source until a new one is available. With something like that, most people would never need to bother with the preferences on the back.

It would also be a big help if you simply listed the application names in the Advanced settings. The rest of the information can be shown on the edit screen.

"Write" is an awfully odd choice of wording to save the app's settings. "Save" or even just "OK" or "Done" would make a lot more sense... And they're buttons we're actually used to seeing.

I don't understand the default application path, nor the suggestion that we separate things. It works well for me for all apps. Of course I'd prefer it not tell me about paid upgrades repeatedly, but that's something that could be easily fixed if it was simpler/faster to ignore certain updates. Commercial apps have free updates too, and those are the ones I really want to know about right away, since I rely on those apps heavily. The worst part is that your odd default path makes the widget seem broken right from the start.

Finally, the graphics on the back are a bit sloppy. I don't understand the use of custom buttons... The standard Dashboard buttons are better looking and easy to add.

Those complaints aside, this is a really awesome widget overall. The only reason I have so many complaints is because it's so useful, I'd love to see it really perfected. Nicely done, keep up the great work!

Posted by: robotspacer on Feb 11, 06 (6:23 PM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

thanks for the feedback!

You're right, you could easily mistake "application update" for the name of the Widget: The text line on the Widget was, however, more thought to be a description of what it does rather than its name (like the Fast Amazon Widget says "Search Amazon" or the Widget "Address Book" says "Address Book Search"... It shows up as "App Update" everywhere where it's meant to be referenced by its name, i.e. in the Finder, in Widget Update, etc...

I don't like the idea of adding additional clutter to the front such as an "ignore this result on this source" button: My philosophy is that it's fine to go to a configuration process when using it for the first time: You probably do these settings once and the Widget and never have to go back, so the process isn't that tedious at all... Note that, for example, the distinction between a "version override" and completely ignoring a source for a Widget makes the whole thing much more flexible. Remember, you will spend a lot more time on its front then the back, so my aim is to rather make the front clean and tidy rather than cluttering up the front with configuration options you will rarely need...

In 'Advanced'. I all the information is listed because it makes it very easy to check wether everything is working correctly at a glance rather than having to open every application in detail: You open 'Advanced', click 'Refresh', wait a bit, then scroll through all your applications (I suggest using the tab key) and go "Oh, this one isn't found at all, so I'll have to edit it" or "Well, apparently I didn't set the custom source for this one" etc... Having only the application name is fine if you know exactly which application to edit for a certain reason, but it would be a pain to make a quick check wether everything is working and configured the way you like (also, "Tab" scrolling through the list makes it very easy to find an application quickly, they are sorted alphabetically).

You are right that "Write" is probably not the most common choice for such a button, but I think it is still descriptive. It is not labeled "Save" because every button can be "pressed" via a keyboard shortcut "Shift+First Letter of the button", and since S is already taken by "Source Settings", I came up with "Write"... I can relabel it "OK" if this confuses people...

The default path was chosen this way for several reasons: First, in work environments, the administrator takes care of /Applications. Second, recursively parsing /Applications takes about 3 minutes or more on a high-end G5 with a moderate amount of Software installed. People with slow drives (iBooks, most PowerBooks) would wait forever. Third, it doesn't work too well with commercial apps anyways, for example, Adobe seems to post some updates to versiontracker.com using strange names such as "Adobe Photoshop 7.0.x AltiVecCore Update", no way to find out wether this is already installed or to relate it with "Adobe Photoshop" in a sane way (from a technical point of view). Fourth, it's really easy to change the path. Additionally, it reminds you that default settings may not work and that you can set paths at the back.

Custom buttons have to be used because I intend to release both App and Widget Update under the GPL once 1.0 is hit, but Apple's licence is not compatible with this as it clearly says in the source of genericButton.js (no other licence is granted). Therefore, only original code and graphics went into the Widget.

Once it is GPL'd, everyone is encouraged to rewrite or extend it, I just want to hold it back until 1.0 so that I release rather well-tested code for people to build upon (though rather ugly in some places, it's a "grown" application that's been extended many times).

Posted by: gck (developer) on Feb 12, 06 (12:11 PM) for version 0.8 (previous version)  

Excellent. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: KaDJiiS on Feb 18, 06 (11:22 AM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

brilliant, just brilliant

Posted by: Jacobwil on Feb 23, 06 (8:13 PM) for version 0.8 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Love the new options for ignoring updates!! Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comments.

Posted by: robotspacer on Mar 06, 06 (2:45 AM) for version 0.9 (previous version)  

Excellent widget. Useful and simple.

Posted by: skyhawkrider on Mar 25, 06 (11:31 PM) for version 0.9 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

"Extracting application information... couldn't read."

That's the message I get in the middle of trying to set this thing up.
I'm running an iMac Intel OS 10.4.6

Posted by: duncopartner on May 25, 06 (1:43 AM) for version 0.9 (previous version)  

please retry with the new version. other than that, if you have any problems with the Widget, it's generally better to email me because I'm not checking this comment page every day...

Posted by: gck (developer) on May 26, 06 (9:25 PM) for version 1.0 (previous version)  

I thought I was pretty good at staying up-to-date with my software, but on its first pass, App Update found 16 apps that have new versions out. This is, without a doubt, one of the best, most useful, and... wow, just frickin' awesome!... widgets I've seen. Heck, it tops most apps, for that matter! Keep up the amazing work.

Posted by: becky on Jul 18, 06 (4:14 PM) for version 1.51 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

As with almost every review, I think this is one of the best widgets I have ever used. This definitely should have come built-in... great job!

Posted by: macusernick on Jul 19, 06 (1:34 AM) for version 1.51 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

HELP! I totally love this thing, and I bounced up and down like a dock icon when I came across this widget. However I must be doing something wrong, because everyone else here is talking like it works great. On my machine however it "finds" tons of my apps and lists them all when "checking" but then when it's done, it only displays a list of five or six of them. Even really common things like VLC and Firefox are not included in that list, and I have both VersionTracker and MacUpdate checked in the sources.

How can I get this widget to list all the applications that it's checking?

Posted by: khyron on Sep 28, 06 (1:42 PM) for version 1.51 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Only applications for which updates were found get shown on the front side. A list of all your applications, including those for which no updates were found, can be viewed on the back of the widget under "Advanced".

Posted by: gck (developer) on Sep 29, 06 (4:46 PM) for version 1.51 (previous version)  

This is, without a doubt, one of the best, most useful, and... wow, just frickin' awesome!... widgets I've seen. Heck, it tops most apps, for that matter! Keep up the amazing work. http://methoo.com

Posted by: shomam on Apr 11, 11 (10:34 PM) for version 1.63 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

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