Probably 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
4. Clicking on an individual app takes you to its own page where you can also choose to ‘un-watch’ it from the list.
5. Go to My feeds and select the feed type you want to use and follow it in your favorite Feed software.
Here’s how my feed looks like in Google Reader.
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?