Posted by: bearc0025 | April 30, 2012

Apple Mac App Store Gatekeeper and Developer ID

From Apple…

The Mac App Store is the safest place for users to get software for their Mac, but we also want to protect users when they get applications from other places. Gatekeeper is a new feature in OS X Mountain Lion that helps protect users from downloading and installing malicious software. Signing your applications, plug-ins, and installer packages with a Developer ID certificate lets Gatekeeper verify that they are not known malware and have not been tampered with.
Mac Developer Program members can sign applications with their Developer ID now to get ready for Gatekeeper. If you’re not already a member, join the Mac Developer Program today.
So it seems Apple wants to protect you from potential issues even w/ apps that don’t go thru their review process.
It’s one part virus scanner and one part standards creator. There’s no telling what they could, at some point, require developers to do in order to pass thru “the Gatekeeper.”
I’m not too much of a conspiracy theorist but there is room here to theorize. When someone/something steps up in the name of protecting you, there’s always room for abuse.
I don’t develop for the Mac/OSX so this doesn’t affect me (as of now). And I don’t have a problem w/ the control they have over the App Store. I believe Apple generally wants developers going thru the App Store to do well bc it’s good for their business. But this is different since it’s for people specifically not going thru their App Store.
Also, this email was sent to developers. From a consumer perspective, I’ve never heard of Gatekeeper so that might be coming later – get the developers on board and then promote Gatekeeper w/ some number of apps already developed for it.
Anyway, this doesn’t affect me know, but I wanted to mention it to y’all that might be more affected or interested and hadn’t heard about it yet.
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Responses

  1. With Gatekeeper, Apple is playing dirty. As a Mac OS X independent programmer, I am going to be heavily penalized when Apple releases the next version of the Mac operating system (Mountain Lion).

    After learning about the restrictions imposed in Mountain Lion — which will be shipped with the default option which prevents unsigned apps from being installed — I decided to submit this case to the attention of the European Commission.

    The main monopoly abuse lies in the fact that, under Mountain Lion, the message box you get when you download and double-click on an unsigned application tells you nothing about how to install it if you want to. It just tells you “to move it to the Trash and this is clearly unfair competition which stinks to high heaven”. Please consider that signing an application is not free of charge: you must pay 99 dollars to Apple on a yearly basis.

    If you want to join other developers complaining about Apple’s monopoly abuse, take a look at the following discussion and send your complaint letter to the European Commission:

    http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php/topic,16799.0.html

    Thanks.

    • I assumed it would cause a good bit of problems. Thanks for the input!


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