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Mac App Store Sandbox Leaves Developers Frustrated

Mac App Store Sandbox Leaves Developers Frustrated

Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:12pm by iClarified
Apple's sandboxing rules for the Mac App Store are pinching developers, forcing some apps out of the store entirely, and leaving many frustrated, reports Andy Ihnatko.

One big problem is that since the discontinuation of MobileMe, developers looking to transition to iCloud face a new set of rules.

An app does syncing through MobileMe. Now, it needs to do it through iCloud. Fine. But Apple won't let an app use iCloud unless it's sold in the App Store. Fine. But Apple won't approve an app for the App Store unless it's sandboxed. And for many developers, sandboxing means that half of their app's features will either no longer work at all, or will need to be dumbed way, way down. Selling your app there also means being cut off from any kind of simple and direct line of communication with your users.

Another issue is that some apps just can't function sandboxed. Today we received an email from Tao Effect stating:

"If you purchased Espionage 3 from the Mac App Store, please read on, otherwise ignore this email. It turns out that Apple's June 1st sandboxing deadline applies to us even though Espionage was in the store before the deadline hit. Because of this, we're forced to remove Espionage from the Mac App Store, and if you purchased Espionage on the store you will need to follow the instructions in this blog post to switch to the non-store version."

These issues are understandably upsetting to developers. While sandboxing is forcing developers to quit the Mac App Store or seriously handicap their applications, Apple continues to offer its own applications on the store without any sandboxing limits imposed.

Ihnatko writes, "This is bad hoodoo. Very, very bad hoodoo. It doesn't mean that MacOS is doomed. But it means that many apps aren't going to be as good as they can possibly be. I worry that many of the best and most Mac developers are going to start to ask themselves if this is all worth it."

Read More [via DaringFireball]

Mac App Store Sandbox Leaves Developers Frustrated
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Comments (9)
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DingBat - June 27, 2012 at 1:25pm
Sandboxing maybe upsetting for developers and restrict the type of applications in the App store, but was this not introduced to protect the end user from malware and corrupt applications? People hate change but developers (which I am one) have known about this for a while... its not new just some developers choose to drag their feet. Clearly if a developer is not happy about sandboxing then do not produce Apps for the Mac
L.W. Brown
L.W. Brown - June 27, 2012 at 3:52am
App Store is fine, but Apple must find a way to let other apps avoid sandboxing like it's own apps can. Otherwise, that becomes a serious contention of illegal discrimination.
Alex - June 27, 2012 at 3:34am
Sandboxing protects the system from malware or accidental damage a program can cause. If you can't work around it, move on. Plenty of developers have no problems with it. That's why you can always sell your app outside the App Store, so life technically never changed for that developer, did it?
tdtran1025 - June 27, 2012 at 12:15am
Dawn has come with the new authoritarian. If one hates MS, wait until Apple completes its plan.
Ironic - June 26, 2012 at 11:19pm
Its another way of apple trying to control everything. Makes me think of that superbowl commercial apple did many years ago, taking about breaking away from the big brother "ibm" Well it looks like apple is becoming one itself.
Me - June 26, 2012 at 11:15pm
Bob - June 26, 2012 at 10:33pm
The whole idea of an app store for Mac was flawed. Mac programs (not apps from the app store) were already easy to install and uninstall. I fail to see how the app store is making anything easier for the user or the developers.
MrEdofCourse - June 27, 2012 at 1:26am
I love the Mac App Store. I was very skeptical at first, but use it for most of my software now. I've purchased far more software than I every had before. There are several benefits... 1) Billing...all under one account that I can view at the end of the year for taxes. 2) Application of gift cards... I get a ton of these from friends, family and clients. This allows me to get a lot of software for free. 3) Not having to worry about installers or lost software or serial numbers... If I don't need an app for now, I can delete it, and install it any time later that I want to. I never have to worry about serial numbers. 4) No activation games or weird ways to register or pay for the software. I click, I buy, the end. I had been burned far too many times from shareware apps where I was billed, but not able to activate for one reason or another. 5) Very easy to set up a new Mac. I have several. I can simply go to one and go down the list clicking the apps that I want on it... and I don't need serial numbers for each Mac. Overall all of this is fantastic for me as a user. Developers are getting more money from me, but I'm not sure how many hoops they're having to go through and how frustrating it may be.
Bob - June 27, 2012 at 1:59pm
Yeah, I guess I see your point but I tend to go more towards free software before I look into paying. For those, the app store does make stuff a click easier but for the developers, it's a pain.
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