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MacUpdate Gets a New Look

Damien Barrett

I've known Joel Mueller of for a really long time. My brother and I used to attend the Traverse City, MI-based Macintosh Users Group (CherryMUG) meetings back in the mid-90's, which is where we first met Joel. He's a bright, talented programmer, and just a really nice guy and I knew he'd succeed in whatever he chose to do. But it's not my personal acquaintanceship with Joel that keeps me coming back to MacUpdate. For years, I was a VersionTracker addict. I checked their software listings many times every day. But then they were bought out by the TechTracker Network and the site changed. The design quality went down (even now I think it's clunky) and and I began to resent the enforced "wait-time" when clicking on the download link(s). Then joined the TechTracker network and started locking most of their content behind a subscription fee. I was worried that VersionTracker would follow suit but they wisely kept their software listings free, though introduced a "professional" membership you could pay for to get extra features. Meanwhile, Joel continued to improve and it soon became my default destination for finding Macintosh software downloads. Even now, years later, I still feel MacUpdate is better than VersionTracker. Every now and then, I'll go back to VT to read a user comment which solves a particular problem, but most of my downloading is done via MacUpdate.

Seems Joel has been busy updating some of the design behind different sections of MacUpdate. The front-page hasn't changed, but individual pages are markedly different. A program's screenshot (if available) has moved up from the bottom of each page and the star rating system has nice big stars to better draw attention to the rating system. Joel has jumped on the "rounded corners" bandwagon (not necessarily a bad thing) and each software entry is rendered in an attractive two-paned box with rounded corners. The text is rendered in a larger font (a good thing), and it's overall more readable.

Overall, these are some nice changes. Congratulations Joel and keep up the excellent work!

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