June 1, 2012 marks the dateline by Apple that requires all apps on Mac App Store to be sandboxed. Sandboxing is a mechanism where apps are run in its own security context, where permission is required if the app needs to access to resources outside its own app sandbox. And not all resources are available for access by sandbox app.
App sandboxing is default under iOS since day one. But due to OS X’s open architecture by design, not all developers welcome app sandboxing with open arms. This is specially true for existing Mac app, as some app features (such as accessing system kernel) are just not possible under sandboxing.
The June 1 dateline was first delayed from last November to March 1, and then extended to June 1. Part of the delay is due to uncertainty about implementation by developers, and its impact on apps functionality due to lack of sandboxing API for some system functions.
With this sandboxing requirement, all apps available under Mac App Store are authorized by Apple, has limited or known access to system resources, and are considered more secure by design.
The Gatekeeper functionality in Mountain Lion is an additional step taken by Apple to make OS X a more secure platform. When Gatekeeper is on, only apps developed by Apple-registered developers are allowed to be installed outside of the Mac App Store. The apps have all access to system resources like any apps outside of Mac App Store. Developers are given keys to sign their apps. And Apple can revoke the key if developers are found to violate Apple’s terms.
Facebook wastes no time to launch its own Camera app, closely followed by an yet finalized purchase of Instagram for $1 Billion that shocked the tech world. Many in the industry are wondering why Facebook launches an app that seems to be a competitor to what they’ve just bought.
Facebook Camera is decidedly different from Instagram, it is a standalone extension of the stock Facebook client similar in fashion to Facebook Messenger app. Facebook Camera is a convenient viewing and uploading app for your photos in Facebook photos.
Facebook Camera app on App Store
Forklift, a well-reviewed file-transfer app for the Mac is now on sale for just $0.99, down from the usual $29.99. The limited-time sale has propelled Forklift to be the number one top-paid app on the Mac App Store. Forklift supports file management and transfer for FTP, WebDav, Amazon S3, SMB, AFP and NIS. You might not use file transfer utilities as much now with Dropbox and iCloud taking over the role of remote file access, but Forklift is a useful file-transfer app to have when you need one.
Forklift on the Mac App Store
Hidden inside the latest OS X Lion 10.7.4 update is the system-level support of additional cameras for their RAW file formats. The new cameras include Canon 5D Mark III, Nikon D4, Nikon D800, Lumix GX-1 and Sony NEX-7. This is the full list:
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III
- Canon PowerShot G1 X
- Nikon D4
- Nikon D800
- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GX1
- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ35
- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ38
- Samsung NX200
- Sony Alpha NEX-7
- Sony NEX-VG20
OS X Lion: Supported digital camera RAW formats
If you rely on VNC protocol to access your desktop computers remotely on your iPad or iPhone, then Screens VNC is as best an app you could get. Screens VNC is pricey at $19.90 for an iOS app, but the app gets it right by implementing features that make it easy to use touch based interface to maneuver the cursor on the desktop. Screens app is an universal app with iCloud and AirPlay integration. And a free Screens Connect helper app enable you to access your desktop from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Screens VNC on App Store
Apple has sent out reminder email to its iWork.com users that the website and its service will be discontinued as of 31 July 2012. iWork.com users are advised to download all their documents to local Mac before the cut off date.
Apple launched iWork.com website as a public beta on January 2009, which provides a web interface for viewing, commenting and downloading of uploaded iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) documents. iWork.com does not provide editing feature and is not related to iCloud.
By shutting down iWork.com, Apple reduces the confusion as iCloud will be the only place to store your documents in the cloud. iWork apps for iOS support iCloud storage directly and there is an iWork area in iCloud.com website where you can access your documents in iCloud using a web based interface.
iWork app for Mac currently does not support iCloud storage directly. You can however upload and download documents to iCloud using the icloud.com website. iWork for Mac is expected to support iCloud storage directly with its next major upgrade.
Apple support document on downloading files from iWork.com
It is easy to see why Paper app by FiftyThree is selected by the App Store as App of the Month. Created for iPad only, Paper is a beautiful app to capture your sketches of ideas, illustrations and notes. It might inspired you to become the next Picasso. Paper is free to download, additional tools can be added via in-app purchase.
Paper by FiftyThree on App Store
Bejeweled was one of the first downloadable games when Apple launched the App Store in 2006. Made by PopCap Games (also of Plants vs. Zombies fame), Bejeweled is a classic tile-matching puzzle game not to be missed in our App of the Week highlight.
Bejeweled on App Store