If you have ever installed an application on an N900 using the default application manager you know that while it is functional it is not the fastest of processes - especially if you are installing multiple applications. Enter the FOSS project, which you can currently find in the extras devel repository, Faster Application Manager. As the name implies FAM is a graphical interface for apt-get in Maemo and it lives up to it's name of being quicker. The GUI is simple and functions well, the main screen presents you with all the options you need to add/remove/upgrade software on your Maemo device:
When trying to find applications to install FAM offers several different methods of searching:
As well as by category:
And of course by name as well:
Installing software is just as easy as in the default application manager. One of the largest advantages FAM has of the default manager is that it allows you to mark multiple packages for installation (as opposed to installing each program one at a time). The installation process is fairly straight forward. Select your package(s) to install:
Wait for it to check for dependencies:
Confirm you want to install all of said dependencies:
And wait for everything to install:
FAM will also handle upgrading packages that have a newer version available, simply mark all of the ones you would like to upgrade (just like when installing packages) and hit apply. One thing worth noting though is that when the update notification appears it will open by default in the normal application manager - to upgrade packages via FAM load FAM and select Upgrade Applications from the main FAM menu.
Finally, FAM also provides a graphics interface for enabling/disabling/adding/editing/removing repositories.
All in all FAM is an excellent application and it is much faster the default application manager. In fact the only real draw back to FAM currently is that it does not support installing applications from the Ovi Store as of yet. Also worth mentioning is that unlike the default application manager FAM supports portrait mode when you tip your device into a vertical position.