Apple's sandboxing could harm larger apps

All new applications in the Apple Mac store from March will in future be 'sandboxed' - unable to communicate with one another, or to utilise certain aspects of the iOS system without specific permission from the user.

The announcement comes in what appears a kneejerk response to the spate of malware that has been showing up on Apple-based systems over recent months.

Sandboxing is a system already used in Google's Chrome OS, with little complaint - but what has critics riled is the fact that Apple is adding an extra element to its application approvals process: the company plans to weigh up every bit of cooperation between apps and Apple hardware to determine if it's necessary. If the company doesn't think it is, it will just disable it.

This circling of the wagons will apply to new apps added to the store - though for the moment, not those made available in retail form online - as well as any older applications that wish to release an update.

Technically it would seem, if you have halted development on an app. it won't be required to succumb to Apple's otherwise mandatory conditions - though no longer updating an application is hardly the way to grow its usage.

Understandably, developers aren't massively happy about the new changes, saying that they don't believe consumers will understand the reasons for the removal of certain features that simply won't be possible under this new system.

Gus Mueller, founder of Apple developer Flying Meat Software, reflected the generally critical mood, telling MacWorld: "It’s being introduced in the middle of an OS cycle. I could see Apple turning it on with the release of 10.8, but forcing the sandbox on developers with a 10.7.x update? That’s crazy."