Let’s Talk Software Update Practices


Clearly there’s an active Developer Community for the Apple platform. I love that my favorite apps are regularly updated – being constantly made better, feature-rich, and all that jazz. But the process of updating some of these apps can be somewhat of a drag at times.

Let’s just put it this way: If your app can tell me that it needs to be updated, it better also tell me to install & restart. I really don’t love when I choose to grab the update, and it launches a browser window for me to do the whole process manually…

I realize all developers aren’t at the same level, or that they’re doing real jobs and fitting their software development into ‘free’ time, but it sure would be nice for everyone to unify on the way applications update themselves.

It’s Monday morning, and I’m a bit cranky – so while I mean what I say, don’t take it too personally…



It would be nice if Apple would open up an API to “Software Update” that would allow developers to list their updates in a “Third Party” section.


Couldn’t agree more – the update experience on TextMate & even CSSEdit are great – one app that drives me nuts to update is MailSteward – great app, but it has updates every other week and it is a hassle to update –

Jason Guthrie

This has been my biggest complaint with some of my favorite apps and widgets – like iStat widgets. I HATE being redirected to a website to download the update myself. Maybe I’m lazy, but I don’t think so. Software should make life easier and more productive, right?

Dave M.

This is also an Application being developed that will monitor all your currently installed applications and let you know when one of them has updated. It will then automate the process of installing the update if you so desire.

The application is called AppFresh. It’s beta now. However, it looks really promising.


You’re preaching to the choir man! I think all mac users hate to see the browser open after hitting the install/update button. We need to start a TAB Sparkle movement!

Paul Nowak (from Apple Blog(.pl) too :))

There is update fremawork called “sparkle” for cocoa apps.

I think it does what you’d like to see:
– True self-updating–no work required from >the user
– Sparkle is a module that developers can stick in their Cocoa applications (five-step install!) to get instant self-update functionality
– Extracts updates from .zip, .dmg, .tar, .tbz, and .tgz archives


Hope I help :)

Andrew Creek

In my opinion every piece of software on the mac should update using sparkle. I’m sure there are technical reasons why some apps don’t use it.

But in my experience it is always a great add-on to any software.

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