Migrating away from DevMate: redirecting Sparkle updates

September 2019

DevMate is the service I use to gather download and install statistics for most of my apps. It also serves the update feeds for all non-Mac App Store apps. Earlier this year DevMate announced its retiring the platform in December.

A screenshot of my DevMate dashboard, showing about 50 downloads and 30 installs for Timeless in the past 30 days and 100 downloads and 60 installs for Pipvid

In this post I’ll outline how I’m preparing my apps to migrate to a new update feed. Christian Tietze mentions asking DevMate to point the Sparkle update feed to a new location. He also recommends to not rely on DevMate’s redirect to work forever. That’s where my approach comes in.

I urge you to take control over the feed URL entirely and redirect it yourself. DevMateKit uses Sparkle under the hood. This means a custom update URL can be specified by implementing a Sparkle delegate method.

Setting the URL

class ApplicationCoordinator: NSObject, Coordinator {

  private func configureUpdates() {
    DM_SUUpdater.shared().delegate = self

extension ApplicationCoordinator: DM_SUUpdaterDelegate_DevMateInteraction {
    func feedURLString(for updater: DM_SUUpdater) -> String? {
        if Defaults.shared.isEnabled(setting: .betaUpdates) {
            return .appcastBetaURLString
        } else {
            return .appcastURLString

extension String {
    static let appcastURLString = "https://updates.dangr.co/\(Bundle.main.bundleIdentifier!)/appcast.xml"
    static let appcastBetaURLString = "https://updates.dangr.co/\(Bundle.main.bundleIdentifier!)/beta-appcast.xml"

After this change Timeless will check for updates at updates.dangr.co. I can set redirects for this domain however I want.


I use Netlify to handle the redirects. Here’s what that looks like:

com.dangercove.Timeless.Mac/appcast.xml*      https://updates.devmate.com/com.dangercove.Timeless.Mac.xml:splat       301
com.dangercove.Timeless.Mac/beta-appcast.xml* https://updates.devmate.com/beta/com.dangercove.Timeless.Mac.xml:splat  301

As you can see I currently redirect to the feed at DevMate, but I can redirect it anywhere else whenever I want. This allows me to use DevMate for as long as possible and switch to any other service that uses Sparkle. I’m keeping a close eye on App Center by Microsoft. They put Sparkle feeds for macOS on the roadmap for September.