updated 05:34 pm EDT, Sun May 20, 2012
Apple sends sandboxing reminder to Mac devs
Apple sent an email reminder to developers working on apps for the Mac App Store letting them know that new programs will have to be compatible with the platform's forthcoming "sandboxing" constraints in order to be offered in the Mac App Store. Developers are expected to implement sandboxing within their apps by June 1, though existing programs can be updated after that date. Apple has previously extended the deadline for app sandboxing, first November 2011 to March 2012, and later to June 2012.
The sandboxing effort is intended to increase security in OS X by limiting the operations a program can execute to program-essential functions, thus hindering malware. Currently, only new Mac App Store applications are required to be sandboxed, but Apple will be bringing a more extensive system-wide security feature, called Gatekeeper, in the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion.
Apple is encouraging all developers to implement sandboxing on existing programs through updated versions as quickly as possible. Gatekeeper will introduce the option of preventing installs from any programs not "digitally signed" or from developers who are not registered with Apple (all legitimate Mac developers are already registered with the company).
Apple has been pushing the Mac App Store as a preferred method for software distribution since its introduction. The company shut down its Downloads page for Mac OS X, touting instead the ease of downloading apps through the App Store. The store saw success upon its release, with one million downloads in its first day of operation. Apple claims that the Mac App Store is now the primary software buying channel for OS X, surpassing Best Buy, Walmart, and Office Depot, and even spawning imitators from competitors such as Microsoft.