Apple urges devs to get macOS apps notarized as free of malware

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With MacOS Mojave, notarized apps install more easily because they're guaranteed malware free.
With MacOS Mojave, notarized apps install more easily because they're guaranteed malware free.
Photo: Apple

There’s a new method to let Mac users know that the software they’re installing isn’t loaded with malware. It’s called notarized apps, and Apple urges developers to use it. 

Right now, getting apps notarized is optional. Eventually, it’ll be a requirement. That’s a bonus for Mac users.

Developers aren’t required to distribute their software through the Mac App Store, and the official Mac software store really hasn’t caught on. Most devss prefer to sell their products directly to the public.

But that leaves Mac users potentially vulnerable to malware. They have to hope that the source for the software they’re downloading isn’t out to trick them.

Apple will check applications and notarize them as being free of harmful code. As the company points out, anyone installing a notarized app can “have confidence that it is not known malware.”

Notarized apps get by the macOS Gatekeeper

Starting with macOS Mojave, users that install software that’s been notarized see a more streamlined Gatekeeper dialog. 

Having applications notarized was unveiled at June’s World Wide Developers Conference. At that event, Apple promised that this isn’t the first step toward requiring third-party Mac software meet a set of standards. Nevertheless, developers are warned that “in an upcoming release of macOS, Gatekeeper will require Developer ID signed software to be notarized by Apple.”