In praise of MacUpdate Desktop

Apple’s made it easier than ever to manage system updates by tying them to the Mac App Store, and the Mac App Store also makes it very easy to download updates to software you’ve bought there. But I use dozens of other applications and add-on software that wasn’t downloaded from the Mac App Store – apps purchased and downloaded directly from the developers’ web sites, for example.

Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection, and keeping all those apps up to date would be a full-time job if it weren’t for a handy tool I’ve kept in my arsenal for years: MacUpdate Desktop.

MacUpdate Desktop is the local client app counterpart to the popular MacUpdate software download service. It scans your hard drive for software that’s out of date and tells you what needs to be updated, then links you to update files you can download directly through the client app.

It makes it really easy to make sure you’re running the latest versions of just about anything, and will warn you if an update that’s available is a paid upgrade, in case you need to wait until payday before you can go to the next version of an important tool.

MacUpdate Desktop is available as a 10-day free trial download; it costs $20 per year to use. That may sound like a luxury compared to the Mac App Store, which updates apps for free. But it’s totally worth it for me, because I depend heavily on third-party software I’ve bought outside the Mac App Store, and there’s nothing more frustrating than launching an app only to discover that an important new update has been released that fixes a problem I’ve had or adds a feature I’ve been waiting for.