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Apple edits more clear code rating for all Mac apps



Apple will soon make a code rating mandatory for all applications distributed outside its own Mac App Store by new developers, a first step toward all Mac applications passing through similar reviews.

Cupertino, the California firm claimed that the process it calls "notarization" would build a safer macOS environment. "We are working with developers to create a safer Mac user experience through a process where all software, either distributed on the App Store or outside it, is signed or notarized by Apple," the company said in a April 10 message on its developer portal.

Applications delivered through the Mac App Store have long been reviewed by Apple for malicious code, and since September 201

2, an Apple-provided digital signature checked before installation. Notarization adds the App Store's review – or a form of it – to programs distributed elsewhere directly from a publisher's website, says.

Apple made the note sound, if not perfunctory, then absolutely short. "Notarization is not App Review," Apple told developers, citing the process the App Store software is going through. "The Apple Notary Service is an automated system that scans your software for malicious content, controls code signing issues, and returns the results to you quickly."

When users start installing a notary program, the Gatekeeper will intervene with a message that Apple has "checked it for malicious software and no one was discovered." From there, the user can either cancel the installation or continue. Gatekeeper is the OS X / macOS tool that has blocked the installation of unsigned code for the past seven years and, depending on how it is set, allows all software or only App Store purchased programs to be installed.

Apple has not shared more than what users will see related to notation. It was unclear whether there would be wide or granular settings to reduce or disable the notification option in System Preferences.

With the look of macOS 10.14.5 – the latest update for Mojave, now in preview – it is necessary for notaries for software created by developers new to deploy Apple apps, as well as for any new or updated kernel extensions. "In a future version of MacOS, notarization will be required by default for all software," Apple said in the documentation .

This "future version" may be as close as this year's MacOS 10.15, which if Apple claims Custom will be introduced in June at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and released in September.


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