Liner Notes
Red Guitar Pick
The FATpick Blog

All currently supported versions of FATpick for Mac OSX and Windows PCs include "auto-update" capabilities. Your locally-installed FATpick application will automatically detect and apply updates when they are released, so that you can take advantage of the latest features, performance improvements and bug fixes as they become available.

The auto-update experience is quick, easy and painless. There is nothing that you need to do - no user-intervention is required. Any available upgrades are applied - quietly and in the background - whenever the application is run, such that the next time you launch the application you'll be running the updated version.

See below for more detail on the auto-update workflow or for instructions on how to manually upgrade FATpick in case you run into problems or simply don't want to wait for the automatic update to kick-in.

(Note for Linux Users: While there hasn't (yet?) been enough interest for our small team to commit to officially supporting the Linux platform, we've been happy to offer a fully-functional "experimental" build for Linux with every release since v1.4 (December 2019). Unfortunately, since FATpick for Linux is distributed as a portable, AppImage binary, the app does NOT update itself automatically on the Linux platform. Linux users are encouraged to check the release notes for information about new releases, or simply visit the the downloads page periodically to download and install the latest version. Note that FATpick has an aggressive release cadence - over the past 18 months we've averaged a new release a little more often than once every two weeks - so you may want to check back frequently.)

Auto-Update Workflow

At fairly detailed level, the auto-update process works as follows:

  1. When the FATpick application is running, it will periodically check to see if a newer version is available.

  2. When a new version is found it will - working in the background - download the information it needs to apply the update. Note that this process is (or at least attempts to be) "incremental" - only fetching the data that has changed in the new release. In general the total payload downloaded in support of an automatic update will be smaller than what would be required to perform a full re-install of the application. (I.e., the update package is smaller than the full installer.) To be fair the full installer isn't that large to begin with - currently it only weighs in at ~500mb - so the distinction is mostly academic.

  3. Once the update package is full downloaded, the application will "apply" the update, adding to or overwriting files found in the existing FATpick application directory.

  4. At this point the update is complete, however FATpick does not interrupt your current session with the application. You can (and will) continue to use the original version of the software until you close the app.

  5. The next time the app is launched, you will be using the updated version of the software.

Note that as a side-effect of this workflow there is a little bit of a "lag" between the time at which a new version of FATpick is released and the time at which you start using it via the auto-update process. In general you won't see the latest version until your second session with the app after a new version is released. The first time you run the app after the new release the update will be detected, downloaded and applied, but you'll continue to use the existing version for the duration of that session. You won't actively use the new version until the next time you run the app - your second session following new release.

In recent versions of FATpick a small notification also appears in the lower-right corner of the home screen when an update is available.

Updating FATpick Manually

If you don't want to wait for the auto-update process you can, at any time, simply download and run the regular installer to upgrade your instance of FATpick to the latest version.

In this case you don't need to worry about uninstalling the existing version of the app or anything like that. It is perfectly safe to install the new version "on top of" the old version. Simply download the most recent installer for your platform and run it like you otherwise would.

All of your local customizations - log-in information, app settings, cached data, etc. - will be preserved by this process.

UPDATE: The manual update process is now even easier. In FATpick v2.4.6 and later releases you can open the About FATpick dialog to immediately check if any upgrades are available, monitor the update download status, or trigger a restart once an update has been installed.

How to check which version of FATpick you're currently running.

Each FATpick release is identified by a "version number" - it looks something like "v2.1.3" - that can be found in two readily accessible locations within the running application:

  1. In the lower-right corner of the main (home) app menu.

  2. In the "About" dialog box, which you can view by selecting "About FATpick" from the File or FATpick application menus (or by clicking on the version number in the lower-right corner of the app's home screen.)

On the structure of FATpick version numbers

Like most other applications, FATpick uses a three-part number to identify each version of the software, comprised of three integer values delimited by a "dot" (.), such as 1.23.45. These are sometimes referred to as the "major" (1), "minor" (23) and "patch" (45) version numbers.

Currently - and for the foreseeable future - FATpick uses the same version number across all platforms. That is, v1.2.3 should refer to the same version of the application on Windows, MacOS and other platforms.

FATpick version numbers typically include a forth attribute - a "build number" - represented by an alpha-numeric string following the "vMajor.Minor.Patch" identifier. This might look something like (3-f2c84a4). A detailed explanation of this build number is beyond the scope of this discussion, and in practice it is unusual to find more than one value for a given major/minor/patch version, but the build number can sometimes provide an additional level of specificity to the FATpick support team about the provenance (history) of a given release.

Hence a complete FATpick version identifier will look something like this:

v2.3.19 (4-fg022ad)

where:

  • 2 is the major version number
  • 3 is the minor version number
  • 19 is the patch version number
  • (4-fg022ad) is the build version number

This is the most complete form you should look for if you are asked to provide a version number to the FATpick support team, but to be honest the build number is rarely significant, so v2.3.19 is almost always sufficient.

Note that the build number is visible in the "About FATpick" dialog, but not in the version number listed in the lower-right corner of the application's home menu.

FATpick
Also see more posts by or tagged , , , or .
Or, visit the tag index or view the latest posts from the Liner Notes blog.