Apple delays Mac App sandboxing

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Apple delays Mac App sandboxing

Developers might have to cull app features to comply.

Apple has delayed the deadline for developers to implement sandboxing in apps sold on the Mac App store until March next year.

The rule was set to come into force this month but Apple advised developers of the delay in a message sent this week.

Sandboxing – where code runs in isolation to protect other applications – was a “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 said.

“The vast majority of Mac users have been free from malware and we're working on technologies to help keep it that way,” the company said.

"As of 1 March 2012 all apps submitted to the Mac App Store must implement sandboxing.”

Some app creators are concerned that sandboxing might limit flexibility and inhibit development.

“I’m really excited about sandboxing and also really terrified,” said Daniel Jalkut, founder of Red Sweater Software in a blog post when the idea was first raised.

“Apple has given us, thus far, a limiting set of entitlements that don’t quite cover everything that reasonable apps want to do," he wrote.

“Apple would have a lot more developer enthusiasm for this feature if it wasn’t so clear that apps will be forced to lose features in order to adopt sandboxing.

"While users may be happy about the prospects of improved security with the sandbox, I think there will be less excitement about the diminished functionality of apps whose features don’t fit nicely into the sandbox confines.”

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