Update process in the Apple App Store

Graham Samuel livfoss at mac.com
Thu Mar 7 08:27:24 EST 2013

Folks, I'm thinking of selling a desktop app from the Mac via the App Store. I daresay I can struggle with the Apple bureaucracy to get the thing into the Store, but there's one thing I'd like to ask LiveCoders before I start, concerning the subsequent update process.

The nature of my app is that when it's updated, I have to do a special initialisation action which is needed to change or delete some data kept in the support folder for the app which will have been left there by the previous version (in effect a data stack, since this app is designed using the 'splash screen' method).  Of course if the user elects to do an update from within the previous version of the app, there isn't a problem, since the whole update process is under the app's control. However, what happens if the update is initiated from within the App Store, where presumably I will have previously deposited the updated code?

I can of course ask the user to go through some process (like clicking a button) to complete the update, but it would be far preferable for the app to do this aspect of the update automatically without user intervention. This would imply that my app knows that its just been updated and can therefore run a once-only routine of some kind. I can think of a number of techniques for doing this, but I wondered if there is an approved one, or indeed whether the App Store's update service actually allows the app to run in some special update mode by executing additional code etc. Of course I  may have fundamentally misunderstood what the App Store does.

TIA for any insight into this.


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