Discussion about

August 5th 2014 6:35 pm

How do you make sure apps are up-to-date on your computer?

With OS X, the App Store has provided an easy way to keep track of updates to various applications and make sure you're always running the latest and greatest software.

However, not all the apps on my computer have been purchased through the App Store. And this obviously doesn't help with Windows applications. There are a number of third party applications that have their own update modules -- but these don't generally run unless you open up the app. So, if there's some app hanging out on my hard drive that I never open, it's not likely I'm going to figure out there's an update that adds a shiny new feature.

On Windows, OS X, and even Linux, what's the best way to catalog your list of applications and keep things up-to-date? AppFresh (for Mac) was always an interesting solution pre-App Store, though they now charge $15 for this service!

sort by

8 replies

There's also MacUpdate, either the desktop client or email notifications.

However, personally, I just stick with the built-in automatically check for updates feature in every app. I honestly can't think of any app on my Mac not from the App Store that doesn't have that feature.
1 like dislike

I agree with this for the Macs I have owned.

Honestly, I can't figure out my Windows 8 box(es) though. I think all my metro apps are auto-updating. I check the store once in a while and don't see updates. Of course in desktop mode there is the typical notifications like Geforce and java updates that pop up in the system tray.
0 like dislike

As a quick point of information to my own post. I believe I did have auto-updates on

0 like dislike

On linux it is easy since the package managers handle all this. All I have to do on debian distros is let the software updater do its thing, or just run the following from the command line:

`apt-get update; apt-get upgrade`

I don't even try to keep stuff up-to-date on my Mac at the office since I use almost nothing from the app store and get everything from outside it. If an app doesn't have an updater built in, chances are it never gets updated until something breaks.
0 like dislike

Yeah, that Mac App Store is pretty pointless. I honestly almost never touch it. Such a clunky pile of...
1 like dislike

I believe Avast has an application updater that can do this, but I think it's only in the paid version.

On my own computers I use a service that I resell to my customers that keeps all their applications and Windows updated. I bundle it with antivirus and web filtering as a subscription service. I just put my own computer on it too because I could get it for free. I'm not sure what I'd use otherwise.

But as others have pointed out, this is one of the nice things about the "app-ification" of desktop operating system programs. There are plenty of downsides, though.
0 like dislike

On OSX I rely heavily on "Automatically check for updates" for any non-MAS purchase and it's been reliable so far.

In Linux it's pretty damn easy thanks to package managers. They'll bug the hell out of you every damn time you unlock the screen about new updates. It's both great and annoying.
0 like dislike

For the free apps that support it (about 20 I use) I love ninite on my windows machines. The free version needs to be run automatically, but it works well. When run, it looks through the applications you've selected, downloads the installer if it needs to be updated, and then silently installs them. I can't say anything for OSX though, I run pretty much all windows boxes.
0 like dislike