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AppFreshIf you like to keep an arsenal of software on your Mac, you know how tedious it is to keep your apps up-to-date. AppFresh 0.4 promises to simplify this process:

AppFresh is an utility that keeps all applications on your Mac up to date by checking the internet for new releases and makes downloading and installing them a breeze.

Here are my first thoughts:

What I like

Unlike Apple’s Software Update utility, AppFresh checks your for updates from third-party developers as well as Apple.

If you’ve used Mail.app or iTunes, the interface should be quite familiar and intuitive. In the left column are groups organized by update status and application status. To right, are your applications. A handy preview pane in the lower-left shows release notes for each app, helping you decide to update now or skip a version.

AppFresh sports shine and gradients, but doesn’t overdo it like other apps.

Best of all, AppFresh is free. Since it’s a beta, this might change in the final release. But it still beats the gouging $40/year for MacUpdate Desktop and $50/year for VersionTracker Pro.

What I don’t like

For “safety reasons,” AppFresh won’t automatically launch and run installers, so you’ll still have to manually install software updates on your own. The programmers could have allayed security concerns by simply prompting for your system password before installation, but they chose not to go this route. Or perhaps, they’re planning this for the final release.

While the user interface is familiar and easy-to-use, its use of screen real estate could be more efficient. Each listing shows a large icon and two lines of text. On my MacBook Pro, that’s only about 18 rows visible at once.

Giant icons and white space are pretty, but I’d rather see more information than superfluous eye candy.

My final word

For a every early beta, AppFresh is smooth, stable, and easy-to-use. The final release will need automatic installations, a few interface tweaks, and keep a reasonable price tag for it to truly squash the competition.


  • Niels

    gravatarApr 26, 2007
    11:30 am

    The tool looks really nice, but the widgets “Application Update” and “Widget Update” written by Georg Kaindl (blog.gkaindl.com/downloads) are faster, find more updates and does not point to 404-pages when you try to download an update…

    All in all, AppFresh is a nice try, but it’s really version 0.4.

    Cheers, Niels

  • Steve

    gravatarApr 26, 2007
    4:44 pm

    Haven’t tried anything in the way of widgets, but it did find several apps that I didn’t know had updates available for them. So far this looks nice, and hopefully will be a rockin app for OS X. Been a long time something decent like this has been needed for the Mac platform.

  • indianboy

    gravatarApr 27, 2007
    9:37 am

    I tried to access their site but seem to have failed. Did any one else get access to their site today? I checked macupdate and they do not host the app but I currently am paying $10 a year for macupdate to send me emails when ever an app gets updated that I have added to may watch list but this app might be a more convenient alternative to manage app updates on condition it automatically sweeps my system for all the apps I have installed and lets me know which ones need to be updated. I am looking forward to trying this app. Thanks for the post.

  • indianboy

    gravatarApr 27, 2007
    9:41 am

    Guess the site is working again. Never mind my comment about it being not accessible :)

  • chris

    gravatarMay 10, 2007
    2:33 pm

    hey indianboy,

    punctuation marks make text readable give it a try the application developers requested macupdate to list their app but macupdate didnt reply to their request the website endured some heavy traffic during the first preview releases but bandwidth problems should be resolved now.

  • indianboy

    gravatarMay 10, 2007
    2:41 pm

    HA…. good point. My bad on the badly written comment.

  • Cowicide

    gravatarSep 2, 2007
    4:02 pm

    Yeah, versiontracker nor macupdate seems to want to list this app. It makes me lose respect for both of them. If you do your job well enough, apps like this shouldn’t be much of a threat anyway, huh?

  • Cowicide

    gravatarSep 2, 2007
    4:03 pm

    I forgot to note, AppFresh desperately needs to simply let you create your own folder and let you drag and drop apps into it so you can just keep custom apps up to date. Otherwise, this thing just bogs down too much and is pretty useless to me.

  • arrasmips

    gravatarApr 21, 2009
    5:22 pm

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