Apps outside the Mac App Store will need to be "approved" by Apple starting next February.

New Year, New Rules: Apple has just released two major changes for developers building apps for MacOS including those distributed outside the Mac App Store and iOS. Let's take a look at them, therefore.


Ma had already announced in the last WWDC that from the macOS Catalina, apps distributed outside the Mac App Store would need to go through a process called notation which is basically a "review" by Apple itself to make sure that the software conforms to the system security terms and regulations.

Originally, the obligation would begin to apply with the arrival of Catalina itself; Apple, however, has decided to postpone the change to make the transition smoother and not hurt users of older software. Now we have a date set for the key change: February 3, 2020.

The requirement for notification is not new: Apple has been encouraging the process since macOS Mojave. You have certainly come across it when trying to install an app on your Mac and get a warning stating that “this app has been downloaded from the internet” and asking if you really want to install it; The difference is that from February next year, these warnings will turn into bugs and the apps in question will no longer be able to be installed.

Apple recommends that developers submit their applications to the notification service as soon as possible and review the notices in the development log; These are the points that must be corrected by 3/2 in order for the apps to be properly noticed and continue to run normally on macOS. This page contains more information about the reporting process.

Note that applications distributed via installation packages, which contain executable codes, must be noted. Applications distributed on disk images (such as .dmg) do not necessarily need signatures, but they are still encouraged so that users can check file reliability without difficulty.


In addition, Apple gave an API ultimatum UIWebView, used by developers to display interactive internet content (such as an internal browser) in their apps. Ma j has discouraged its use since iOS 8, but now it actually prohibits it: from April 2020, the App Store will no longer accept new apps that use the API; in December, updates that implement it will no longer be accepted.

Apple directs developers to switch UIWebView to new standard WKWebView, which brings much higher doses of reliability and security to the new standard supported by newer versions of iOS, macOS and Mac Catalyst, and ensures that insecure web content doesn't compromise the rest of the app by limiting browser action.

All taking notes?