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So far as my experience goes, some software are available directly from Mac App Store, others are installed from other source e.g. gimp for Mac.

When I check for updates in Mac, does it check for updates for the second category as well?

If the answer is no, how do I know whether a new version for gimp has been released?

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The Mac App Store will only check for updates for system applications or those installed from the Mac App Store.

Though I have not used Gimp in particular, most apps distributed outside of the Mac App Store will have an option in the menu bar under either the app name or help menus. That option will usually be titled something along the lines of Check for Updates.

You can download the latest version of Gimp here: Gimp - Downloads.

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  • So, to summarize, Mac App Store will only check for its own applications, and for other applications, each one must be checked individually. This is very much different from Ubuntu (and similar ones) where you add repositories for all the software except a few and a simple command like sudo apt-get update will suffice to check for updates. – Masroor Feb 26 '18 at 15:02
  • @Masroor To my understanding that is correct. – Jake3231 Feb 26 '18 at 17:12
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Here is the info in the documentation for Support Essentials cert exam I'm reading:

macOS Software Update attempts to update this software:

  • Currently installed Apple-source software
  • macOS bundled software
  • Software you bought from the App Store

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