June 1: Sandboxing Day

| News

Apple’s June 1 deadline for OS X app developers is here, and that means new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must comply with the company’s new sandboxing rules. The deadline was originally set at March 1, but was pushed back to the beginning of June to give developers more time to get their apps up to date.

Apple starts enforcing app sandboxing rulesApple starts enforcing app sandboxing rules

Sandboxing on the Mac, just as on the iPhone and iPad, prevents apps from performing any functions outside of their own memory space. The practice helps make OS X more secure, although that security comes with at a price in that it limits app functionality.

Apps that are already available through Apple’s Mac App Store, but aren’t updated for sandboxing, can stay in the store and developers can continue to provide bug fixes. New apps, however, will have to comply with Apple’s sandboxing rules.

Apps sold outside of the Mac App Store aren’t required to comply with the sandboxing rules.

For now, the new rules won’t have much of an impact on end users. As new apps roll out, however, developers will have to decide whether or not supporting sandboxing is worth it to get their titles on the Mac App Store, and users will have to decide if they want to look beyond the Mac App Store for the apps they need.

[Some image parts courtesy Shutterstock]

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Could developers that “need access to System level resources/features” put forward a list of most wanted requirements that Apple could then thin out to an acceptable list and then provide APIs for the developers to access ?

Mac App Store offerings could still “Be Safe” but provide better feature sets ?

I’m thinking of ClamXav. The Mac Store version is nobbled compared to the version you can download from the Developer’s own website….

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@furbies: There are already APIs. Conceptually, the sandbox makes apps specify what APIs it plans to use, informs and gets consent from the user, and restricts API usage to what the app asked for. But not all APIs are available for sandboxed apps.

The whole bone of contention that developers have had over this requirement is that Apple hasn’t kept up with the “entitlements” that developers’ existing apps need. A secondary bone of contention is that users who become a little bit aware of sandboxing then think that developers’ apps are to blame for this, or somehow it’s not a problem entirely of Apple’s making. But, when you’re the big fish with the valuable brand, few dig into the facts, and frankly, nobody cares.


I would say that the main bone of contention is that Apple’s own apps, (iPhoto, GarageBand, etc) don’t have sand boxing. But they now require other developers to use the badly, if at all, documented API’s which barely work.

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