MacUpdate Desktop 5 adds smart scanning, drops price

MacUpdate recently released a major upgrade to its MacUpdate Desktop application, which allows you to keep abreast of updates available for every third-party application installed on your Mac. For a yearly subscription fee, the application lets you keep all your Mac apps updated without having to deal with each one individually.

With version 5.0 (and the just released 5.0.1 update), MacUpdate Desktop has been entirely rewritten to take advantage of the advanced underlying technologies introduced with Snow Leopard. It also has an improved user interface and a more efficient scanning method that can check your installed applications against MacUpdate’s massive library of more than 30,000 applications, widgets, screen savers, and preference panes.

Among the program's other changes are one-click updating, which allows you to easily update applications individually or as a group, update verification, the ability to archive older versions of apps (which can be very useful sometimes), watch-list creation with e-mail notifications, and a lower price of $20 per year, which allows you to install it on up to five Macs.

After having put the application through its paces for a bit, I can say that it's good at what it does (if a little buggy). It doesn't work with certain applications—like the Adobe Creative Suites, for example—but that’s because of Adobe’s update scheme. That said, however, I’m not entirely convinced I would want to spend $20 per year on this application.

The way I see it, the applications I frequently use keep getting updated every time I use them anyway. Is the ability to update all my applications at once—many of which I might not even be using—really enough to convince me to shell out that annual fee? For me, the answer is no, but give the ten-day free trial a run and see what you think.

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