Apple's Mac App Store

Developers who wish to sell their software in Apple’s Mac App Store have to abide by certain rules. As of last month, Sandboxing is in effect, which restricts the level of integration with the OS any particular app has. In theory (and in practice, actually) this will help protect unsuspecting Mac users from malicious software downloaded from the Mac App Store.

The realities of Apple’s Sandboxing rules go much deeper though. For developers of some extremely popular applications like TextExpander, YoJimbo, BBEdit, TextWrangler, a difficult decision must be made. Do they completely withdraw the app from the store, or remove the features which don’t comply with Apple’s Sandboxing rules? Removing features is likely to anger existing customers, and greatly reduce the enticement to purchase the app to begin with. Removing the app from the store completely means a significant drop in exposure for the app, and more expenses involved with selling it on their own.

Ted Landau has some great commentary on the whole Sandboxing issue, along with some thoughts from a few high-profile developers and Apple pundits in his Apple’s Sandboxing…One Month In article.