Thursday, June 16, 2016

CloudKit and Map Kit for Gatekeeper Apps

In 2011, I wrote:

Would anyone be surprised if future versions of Mac OS X made additional features and APIs available only to App Store apps?

In 2012, this came to pass:

It’s no longer possible to write a single app that takes advantage of the full range of Mac OS X features. Some APIs only work inside the Mac App Store. Others only work outside it. Presumably, this gap will widen as more new features are App Store–exclusive, while sandboxing places greater restrictions on what App Store apps are allowed to do.

In macOS 10.12, this will be less true. Developer ID apps outside the Mac App Store will be able to do almost everything:

Developer ID-signed apps can now take advantage of CloudKit, iCloud Keychain, iCloud Drive, remote (push) notifications, MapKit, and VPN entitlements.

I say “almost” because iCloud key-value storage and Core Data are not mentioned in the document, although my impression from the WWDC session is that they will be included. Of course, this assumes that Apple does not renege on this, as it did with Map Kit and El Capitan.

At WWDC, Apple is presenting the Mac App Store as the preferred way to distribute software. However, it still lags behind the iOS App Store in features. Developer ID apps have access to more APIs and more business models.

Andrew Pouliot:

Feels good to decouple the two, let MAS have its own value proposition apart from CloudKit, vice-versa.

Milen Dzhumerov:

Basically, they remove all the reasons for MAS (together with paying for direct Mac apps using Apple Pay).

Drew McCormack:

Question is whether they have just given up on it. Wouldn’t be the first time Apple just leaves something for dead.

The situation continues to get worse for unsigned apps. In macOS 10.12, the (graphical) preference to enable them has been removed, although there are still ways around that.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

iCloud key-value storage is allowed too: see Platforms State of the Union at 1:16:00. ( )

I wonder if non-Developer ID-signed apps are allowed.

Clark S. Cox III

@Jesper I seriously doubt that non-Developer-ID signed apps will be allowed to use these services.

As to iCloud Core Data, it looks like it is deprecated.

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