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Devs reveal the good, bad and ugly about Mac App Store


Mac App Store
The email app BlueMail finds itself on the outside of the "closed garden."
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

For users, the Mac App Store makes finding, purchasing, and downloading new software a breeze. But is the experience as enjoyable for the developers behind that software?

Setapp surveyed over 700 macOS developers to find out what they really think of Apple’s marketplace. The results give us an interesting insight into the challenges they face when choosing the Mac App Store, whether life is better without it, and how Apple has improved.

Disney Infinity: Toy Box iPad App Arrives, Free For a Limited Time




Just after CES wound down back in January, I was part of a (relatively) small group of journalists and bloggers present at the Disney media event that revealed Disney’s Infinity game universe to the world. Problem was, I had no clue why I’d been invited, as all the hoopla was about the console game. Toward the end, I bumped into Bill Roper, Disney’s product development chief, and asked why I was there as I gulped down a delicious, miniature milkshake.

His answer was cryptic. But the reason I’d been invited has just made its entrance onto the app store today — it’s the Disney Infinity: Toy Box iPad app, a virtual sandbox mashup that allows anyone with an iPad to take a variety of Disney characters and play with them in different Disney worlds. And it’s free — for now.

Apple To Reject Hotkey Apps From Mac App Store Starting June 1st [Rumor]


Alfred uses universal keyboard shortcuts to let you search for anything on your Mac.
Alfred uses universal keyboard shortcuts to let you search for anything on your Mac.

As OS X continues to become more of a consumer-oriented platform and less of a power user-friendly environment, Apple is reportedly set to begin enforcing new guidelines in the Mac App Store that will ban apps that use “hotkey” functionality.

Apps like Alfred are able to give the user a universal system hotkey that can be used to access the app anywhere in OS X. Starting on June 1st, Apple will be prohibiting these kinds of system-wide features from making their way into the Mac App Store.

Good Offers Secure iOS Data Management Platform With Developer Partners [Mobile Management Month]


Good offers a complete platform for information security
Good offers a complete platform for information security

May is Mobile Management Month at Cult of Mac, where we will be profiling a different mobile management company every weekday. You can find all previous entries here  and read our Mobile Management manifesto here.

Although Good does provide device and app management, its primary focus is securing business data. To that end, the company effectively segregates all business information and documents on a device from a user’s personal content. To accomplish this Good’s iOS app delivers the same features as Apple’s Mail, Calendar, and Contacts apps – a move that ensures business messages event data are always secure. Good also includes a secure web browser and secure on-device document and data storage. The secure data store is sandboxed and can restrict users from copying data to unapproved apps as well as prevent such apps from accessing business documents or files.Good also provides a government agency solution that has been certified to meet various government and military standards for secure access including two-factor authentication.

Good leverages these technologies through a new solution called Good Dynamics that allows other companies, including mobile management vendor Boxtone who we profiled earlier in this series, to take advantage of Good’s secure data store. See our Good Dynamics coverage for more details.

OS X Lion Sandboxing Is A Killjoy Destined To Ruin Our Mac Experience



Mac OS X developers have been given a few extra months to accept the Mac App Store app sandboxing requirements… or to forget about selling their apps through Apple’s store altogether.

Originally, the deadline was November 1st, but Apple has since uncharacteristically extended the deadline to March 1, 2012. After that, all apps sold in the Mac App Store must use Mac OS X Lion’s new sandboxing framework. That framework is another thing Lion had adopted from iOS and is meant to increase security on the Mac.

With the deadline extended, developers now have about four months to decide on whether they will support sandboxing in their apps. The problem? If they do, some apps will become just shadows of their former selves.