AppFresh 0.8 review

The easiest way to describe AppFresh is to say that it’s like Apple Software Update, for all the software on your machine. In this age of multiple updaters, it’s a truly brilliant idea. AppFresh integrates Apple Software Update, Microsoft Update and Adobe Updater into one package. It also interfaces directly with two services that track third-party applications with automatic updaters – Sparkle Update and I Use This. The result is a pretty comprehensive and smart tool you can use to make sure that all version of the software on your machine are the very latest.

The user interface is inspired by the Finder and much slicker than Apple’s own updater. A column on the left filters features. You can easily navigate to applications with updates available, those without, and the handful that AppFresh doesn’t recognise. There are further filters by vendor, application type and a dedicated I Use This section. This is useful, enabling you to quickly add installed tools to the I Use This database, simply by selecting then flagging them.

While AppFresh can detect that most of your third-party apps are due an update, it can’t automatically update them all. For example, our copy of Steam needed updating. AppFresh directed us to Steam’s main download page, rather than launching Steam and its updater. We had to locate the downloaded file and manually install it. Same story for a couple of other apps. It’s not quite as seamless as Apple Software Updater after all.

OUR VERDICT

If keeping your system bang up to date is important to you, AppFresh is a good way to consolidate the disparate methods of updating the tools you use. It has some way to go before perfection, but this is a great start.

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