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Mac OS X provides native updates checking by using the Software Update tool. This is only good for system updates, iLife, iWork and other pro apps such as Aperture and Final Cut Studio. This is the same for Microsoft Office for Mac and Adobe Creative Suite.
What about the other freeware and shareware applications you use? Oh, not to mention those assortment of widgets, PrefPanes and plugins you use. Well, AppFresh is the solution. AppFresh provides a central place to control the software updates available to your Mac, when and how you want them.
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On the initial launch, AppFresh will scan your entire hard-drive for applications including Apple and Microsoft products. You will be presented with a list of applications with available updates. From then on, you can update a particular app or plugin automatically. Personally, I prefer to download the updated package and install it myself. This is to prevent any mishaps since we're dealing with a beta application.
You must be wondering how AppFresh obtains information on new updates to your application. It seeks information from Apple Software Update, Sparkle, Microsoft AutoUpdate, Adobe Updater and finally, osx.iusethis.com.
osx.iusethis.com is an interesting way for you to track your applications as well as discover new ones. There is a social aspect to it which I really like. I'm able to check out what new applications my friends and colleague are into with just a few clicks.
As for automatically updating Adobe Creative Suite and other applications by Adobe, the developers at metaquark are working hard on implementing this in a future release of AppFresh.
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One last thing, AppFresh is still a work in progress and the current version is released as a development preview. Your mileage might vary so please have a working backup before installing any updates using AppFresh.
Having said that, I'm pretty sure AppFresh will be of great help to you guys. Check it out today!