Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Nov 2011 22:54 UTC
Mac OS X And so the iOS-ification of Mac OS X continues. Apple has just announced that all applications submitted to the Mac App Store have to use sandboxing by March 2012. While this has obvious security advantages, the concerns are numerous - especially since Apple's current sandboxing implementation and associated rules makes a whole lot of applications impossible.
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RE[2]: Good move
by frderi on Fri 4th Nov 2011 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Good move"
frderi
Member since:
2011-06-17

First, I agree with you that it's difficult for a legacy operating system to make application sandboxing mandatory. Some compatibility will be broken, sooner or later. However, OS vendor control on applications is not the only way to do that. You can also do it the Microsoft way, by pushing an OS release that breaks compatibility, but is advantageous in other ways, like Windows x64 breaks DOS compatibility. At some point, everyone will use the new release, although it can take some time.


True, but name me one digital protection scheme which hasn't been compromized. Whenever there's software, there's bugs, and whenever there's bugs, there's exploits. DVD Copy protection, Blu-Ray, SSL Certificates are all living proof of this.


Second, although the implementation is more than perfectible, Android showcases that sandboxing can be introduced on a new OS without draconian OS vendor control.


To what benefit? Android leads the pack by far in terms mobile OS exploits.


Third, you state that vendor-controlled application stores make it easier to find and install software.


It makes it far more easier for the bulk of the non-tech users to find their software, since the Mac App Store is installed and available by default on the system.


word of mouth remains the main way of discovering new software with or without app stores.


For a couple of apps, yes. for many others, no. If you're a heavy user of a certain productivity suite to do the grunt of your work, the chance is big you already know the app you're going to install. But there generally won't be many of these apps sitting on your system. For most of the smaller utilities, where you are looking for a solution for a functionality you are missing, a centralized system which lists the available software is more beneficial. And often times, one gets to know newer, better alternatives when searching apps on a big app aggregator, you wouldn't have had the same convenient list of available applications with just a few keystrokes while using search engines like Google.

As for installation itself, it is made easy not by the use of app stores themselves, but by the standard application packages they use. You are right that application stores are better for paying applications, though, but I don't know up to which point (PayPal is a universal mean of buying software on the internet, and software can use the same kind of DRMs as app stores to reduce piracy).


I think uncurated payment over the internet is currently not without its quirks, they're a mixed bag in terms of user experience at best. There might be delays between the purchase and the availability of the application to the end user because of limited resources in purchase processing at the application vendor, vendor-provided payment systems might not be up to par to security precautions and are more prone to be compromised and their information harvested, or worst of all, the vendor might not deliver on the goods at all, because of scam schemes or because they just went out of business. The Mac App Store eliminates all these. It offers a streamlined and predictable purchase and install process that is not available at this level on other software aggregators on the internet.

Edited 2011-11-04 19:35 UTC

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