We all love keeping our devices up to date as much as humanly possible. Ever since the days of Windows Mobile, whenever we saw a new build being leaked from Microsoft, we would rush to the nearest computer and hope that one of our favorite chefs had already made it into something flashable. Either that or, if you knew how to do it yourself, you would build the ROM yourself using things like EVK (Ervius Visual Kitchen). Having said this, there are always more things that one would like to keep up to date, and that is the apps on your device. Back in the day, very few apps had an update checker on them and since there was no market to depend on (except for the Windows Mobile Market, which was a bit of a joke). As a result, you normally had to look for updates via Google or other means. In this day and age, we can certainly say that having to hunt around for updates for your apps is a thing of the past thanks to the Play Store, but what if your apps are not in the Play Store? Or worse yet, what if you have no access to the Play Store at all (geographical restrictions)? XDA Recognized Developer Goddchen has come up with an interesting solution to address this.
Update Notifier – Crowd Edition is an app that functions quite similarly to the app store (and in the same manner as its predecessor but without the use of web crawlers or third party APIs). It checks your apps and compares to current versions. However, unlike the Play Store, this app grabs information about all your installed apps and not just the ones attached to the Play Store. It then sends this information to a community database and does two things: it updates it with newer versions (if you happen to have any), and it notifies you if there are newer versions around. Once you get the notification, clicking on it would take you to the Play Store or to Appbrain (if Google’s service is not available in your country or if the app was installed via other means). This solves several issues with the current model implemented by Google and it is community driven. Best part is that it is completely anonymous and only scans for package name, version number, and version code. Not even your device ID is transmitted.
Since the app has just launched, the current database is quite small (about 700 entries strong, as per the dev’s latest comment). Please help the project by installing the app and report any bugs or comments you may have to the dev. Feedback, as always, is highly appreciated.
The reason for this second edition of the app is that all the available APIs for app version infos are pretty much outdated most of the time, sometimes up to 1 or 2 weeks… That’s simply unsatisfying for users of an app update notifier. With the ne strategy, I hope to solve this problem. Let’s see how it goes…