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android app updatesProbably the second most favorite activity of mine (after playing Angry Birds) on my Sony Ericsson Android smartphone is to check out new app launches, and update the old ones. More often than not I am tapping away at my screen and checking out which apps have to be updated and are there any apps which are on sale, priced low enough where I can buy them without a second thought. Of course, the Android system and Google Play do tell me which app needs an update, and I can also set them to automatically update themselves. I tend to be selective about Android app updates, and do so manually.

I needed a service that could be a 24×7 watchdog for me; watching over the Google Play Store and just being my trusty Man Friday when I am too busy to go over each app.

Watch Your Android App Wish List with AppFeed

android app updates

Let me introduce you to the new Man Friday I have ‘hired’. AppFeed.net (Beta) is a web service that works with your Feed Reader to keep you informed of updates in the version or price of an Android Application. You might miss the benefit of using a RSS/Atom feed as a tracking tool, but there are few simple advantages which an inveterate app downloader will appreciate:

If you like an app whose current price is a bit too high: Add the app to your AppFeed.net wish list. It will inform you when the app will go on sale, or the price drops.

If you like to keep your apps always updated: Great! But if you have it on manual, AppFeed.net tells you about the updates, giving you the option to check out if the update is good enough for an immediate install or you can postpone it.

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If you like your Android games: Game developers keep adding levels. Instead of keeping the exhausted game on your system and taking up space, you can uninstall it and reinstall it when the updated game becomes available. AppFeed.net reminds you when the updated app hits the Google Play Store.

Currently, AppFeed.net monitors the following type of app changes:

  • Application name change
  • Version change
  • Last updated on change
  • Price change
  • Icon change

Setting Up AppFeed Watch List with Your RSS Feed Reader

Monitoring your Android app updates with AppFeed is easy as any copy-paste. Here are the steps which are also well-illustrated on the site.

1. You can sign-in with Google, Twitter, or Facebook. In your profile, the only choice you have to make is to select the European market or the U.S. one.

updates for android apps

2. After your registration is complete, click on the link that takes you to the Applications page. This is where you have to do a bit of labor by copy-pasting the URL of the specific apps from the Google Play Store. A search feature here would have been a real time-saver. Hopefully, as the service moves out from Beta, it could be implemented.

updates for android apps

3. Here’s how your watch list will look like after you have added your apps of interest. You can sort the list by clicking on the column header for Price and Last Update.

updates for android apps

4. Clicking on an individual app takes you to its own page where you can also choose to ‘un-watch’ it from the list.

updates for android

5. Go to My feeds and select the feed type you want to use and follow it in your favorite Feed software.

updates for android

Here’s how my feed looks like in Google Reader.

android app updates

Google Reader is my centralized ‘command center’ for information sourcing. With the help of AppFeed.net and its notification service, I can keep myself updated with any Android app updates. How do you like the service so far? Are you a hardcore Android app watcher? Are there any alternatives you use to keep an eye on old and new Android apps?

  1. rama moorthy
    September 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

    thats nice article ..
    i am going to MakeUseOf AppFeed.net

  2. Vampie C.
    August 30, 2012 at 9:08 am

    This is cool.

    Once I've set it up, I'm gonna watch the RSS feed with IFTTT.com and pushover.
    So I get a notification on my phone when something changes.

    Thanks for the tip :-)

  3. Sebastian Hadinata
    August 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Great tips and very useful. Now I can add this into my google reader feed list and get notified for new updates.

  4. Ashwin Ramesh
    August 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    thanks for sharing Saikat!

  5. Tony Karakashian
    August 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Timely! Saw this article and was going to set it up to monitor for price drops on Enhanced Email, which I got for free from Amazon a lifetime ago. As the main reason I use EE is relatively trivial, the $10 price tag was a bit more than I was looking to spend. But, when looking up the market link to put into AppFeed, I saw it's on sale for $5! So, you saved my $5 already, thanks! :)

    • Saikat Basu
      August 28, 2012 at 5:06 am

      Ha..ha...there! An instant proof of its utility. Thanks!

  6. April Eum
    August 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    thanks for sharing this!

  7. Paul Werner
    August 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm
    • Saikat Basu
      August 28, 2012 at 5:05 am

      The one reason I don't use App Watcher is that it is again an Android app and needs a constant-on 3G, GPRS, or Wi-Fi connnection. I have mine switched off till I need it. So, I prefer a RSS watchlist . But yes, App Watcher is another good alternative.

      • Paul Werner
        August 28, 2012 at 5:10 am

        Yeah, if I was one to mind the constant connection then I guess I would mind too. It does let you manually check but then there wouldn't really be a point in notifications to check out later when you have time. Just figured I'd spread the news about an app that does the same, thanks for our input on it though

    • Ammar
      August 31, 2012 at 3:53 am

      Does AppWatcher also monitor price changes of apps it is watching? From the screenshots and description on the market, it seems it doesn't.

      • Paul Werner
        August 31, 2012 at 4:07 am

        I really couldn't say. I haven't had an app I am watching have a price change just yet. That would be a good feature to suggests on the Play Store page of this app though

      • Saikat Basu
        August 31, 2012 at 5:28 am

        Yes, price changes are monitored. Check out Tony's comment below who got a price change (sale) notification the instant he tried it out.

  8. anthonymonori
    August 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Good idea! I almost never go into Play Market on my Android phone, I rather use the website, so i don't see the updates. It's an easy way, especially if you use Google Reader. Thanks for the tip.

  9. VS Vishnu
    August 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    useful article..

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