What is app installer?
App installer files (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/msix/app-installer/app-installer-root) are a handy technique of a single-click installation of MSIX packages from any source (local, web), at the same time providing out-of-the-box auto-update functionality. The update itself is backed by the MSIX technology, the installation via .appinstaller simply configures and automatic interval or trigger based update, which provides a seamless and transparent experience to the end user. The format has its own file extension
.appinstaller, and is a simple XML file on its own.
In the current implementation, the interval and triggers are defined by the app installer vendor. MSIX Hero 1.4.0 and newer have a built-in function, which can check for any available update, and download it if required. Important is that the update check done via MSIX Hero is not a subject of interval limitation as defined by the app installer file – the results shown by MSIX Hero show the actual newest version of the checked product at the time of pressing the button.
MSIX Hero has a pretty powerful
.appinstaller creator / editor which can be used by vendors and administrators to create
.appinstaller with help of GUI.
To check for the update, the following conditions must be met:
- MSIX Hero version 1.4.0 or newer
- Package being checked must be installed from appinstaller file
You can ensure the second condition by going to the Installation > Status tab in MSIX Hero. An app that has been installed from appinstaller file will show information like this:
Checking for app installer updates
The update can be checked from the context menu:
or from the Ribbon (tab Management):
Both options are available for single- and multi-selection.
Once an update is available, the confirmation will be shown:
If no update is available, another message will be shown:
Updating side-loaded apps
If one or more updates are available, simply press Update now to perform the update of selected app(s). The installation will be 100% the same as what app installer would otherwise do on its own, so that the update chain is preserved.
Updating Store apps
Apps from Microsoft Store have built-in auto-update capability. When the button Check for updates is pressed on one or more Store apps, the corresponding Store page will be shown:
If you want to force checking or installing of an updated version of an app, MSIX Hero is the way to go. It supports bulk update check and installation as well.