Our application (running on Windows, but not a traditional application with menus and toolbars) has a feature that it can check for updates of the application, or of the firmware of the attached (medical) device that the application is controlling. We're having a difficult time deciding where to put this functionality.
In other applications that have a traditional menu bar, we often see the function under the Help menu. We don't have such a menu bar, but we do have a side menu with some buttons with icons that represent the main actions, some of which fold out into a menu with several options. There is a help menu among these. However, we feel that the Check for Updates it out of place with the About... option and the actual Help option there.
We also have a settings dialog, where you can tune all kinds of preferences. However, again, checking for updates is not a preference, so it does not really belong between there either.
Last, we have a status-bar like area where we display things like the currently logged on user name with a logout button, and a status display of the devive (connected/disconnected). Perhaps it could find a place there? Or, perhaps we should check for updates automatically, and only display something in that status area if there if an update has been found?
I would love to get some other suggestions of where auto-update functionality belongs in an application.