Software is rarely perfect when it's released. Bug fixes, security updates, and other issues crop up, which is why you'll need to install updates from time to time. Apple uses one mechanism for updating all of its software, Software Update, while other companies typically include update features within their applications.
When new versions of Apple software are available for download, Software Update opens automatically and asks if you want to install them. You can also choose Software Update from the Apple menu to perform a manual check.
- In the dialog that appears, click Show Details to learn what's available. You can also click Install to apply them right away, but I prefer to see what's available first.
- In the details view, select an update to learn more about it (Figure 4.14). If you prefer not to install an update, deselect its checkbox (or click Not Now to ignore all updates). Software Update notifies you if any updates require restarting the computer.
Figure 4.14 Software Update.
- Click the Install x Items button to apply the updates. You may need to provide your administrator password to continue.
- When finished, click the Quit button that appears.
Updaters within applications
Most applications now have the capacity to check if newer versions are available. Look for a Check for Updates item in the application menu or Help menu. In some cases, you'll be taken to the company's Web site to download the latest version; see "Install Applications," earlier. Other programs can now update themselves while they're still running.