Apple has pushed back the deadline for developers to include a sandbox in all of the apps on the Mac App Store, giving them a reprieve until June 1. The deadline was set for March 1, but Apple has changed it in order to give developers more time to work with the new requirements.
Apple originally informed developers about the new requirements for sandboxing back in November and set the March 1 deadline, giving them about four months to adapt. The Mac App Store first was introduced in early 2011, and it’s meant to be the OS X analog to the iTunes App Store, allowing users to download software from a central source. Unlike the iPhone app store, the Mac App Store isn’t the sole source for OS X applications, at least not yet. But Apple is introducing some of the same requirements for that store that it has with the iTunes store.
“The vast majority of Mac users have been free from malware and we’re working on technologies to help keep it that way. As of March 1, 2012 all apps submitted to the Mac App Store must implement sandboxing. Sandboxing your app is a great way to protect systems and users by limiting the resources apps can access and making it more difficult for malicious software to compromise users’ systems,” Apple officials said at the time of the original announcement.
Now, the company has said that it is giving developers a little more time to figure the whole thing out, as well as have some time to work with some new features available in OS X 10.7.3.
“We have extended the deadline for sandboxing your apps on the Mac App Store from March 1st to June 1st to provide you with enough time to take advantage of new sandboxing entitlements available in OS X 10.7.3 and new APIs in Xcode 4.3,” Apple said in a statement.
The requirement from Apple that developers sandbox their Mac apps is meant to help prevent attackers from being able to use vulnerabilities in one app to affect other apps or the operating system. When Apple announced the move, security experts said it fit with the company’s typical moves.
“I’m not surprised at all, really. The reason there’s been no malware on the iPhone is the App Store and the review process,” Charlie Miller, a security researcher and principal research consultant at Accuvant Labs, said at the time. “There’s no real malware protection built into OS X right now, except the one that has about three signatures. So I think what Apple wants to do is move toward the iPhone model. At least for now you can still randomly download stuff, but they want to move toward the iPhone model where they have control of it.”