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I kind of hate it when applications, which I start, at first search for updates. It's not the updates. Well I fire up an app because I want / need to use it (now). I liked the centralized, system wide update which Linux offered. And SoftwareUpdate just checks Apples software.

Is there a way to centralize the updates of the third party applications?

So far I know about Macports and Fink which update quiet like Linux, but I also use e. g. iTerm, Transmission etc. which would still be left out.

I also heard little about Appcasting, which uses RSS to announce updates, and which is used by some apps I use, but I don't know any URLs.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I use AppFresh. It's nearly perfect. A lot of apps are recognized, even new ones and widgets and prefpanes too.

It's backed up by iusethis to check for update, but can also check for Apple or Microsoft Office updates.

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+1 really nice and usefull app. – Am1rr3zA Aug 25 '10 at 21:39
For me, AppFesh is just crashed randomly... so I choose MacUpdate one. – nanda Sep 8 '10 at 8:27
@nanda, weird, I can't even remember the last time AppFresh crashed on me. – Loïc Wolff Sep 8 '10 at 10:57

MacUpdate and Versiontracker both offer custom apps that do specifically this. However, after a free period, they're paid for I believe. MacUpdate app is my preferred of the two, available here.

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+1 I use MacUpdate as well – nanda Sep 8 '10 at 8:26

Bodega acts like the app sore in iTunes, but it's for desktop apps. It includes a version checker/updater in the "Applications" section.

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