Set to be introduced as part of OS X Mountain Lion later this year, Apple last night issued a mailshot to developers reminding them to sign-up for their unique ‘Developer ID’ before the software’s release.
As we detailed back in February, Developer ID is set to arrive as part of a new feature to OS X called GateKeeper, which will give users the option to choose whether or not to allow the installation of applications that have not been signed by a developer carrying a registered Apple-issued ID.
This, Apple says, will act as a new method to prevent the installation of malware on Mac OS X systems – and, (given recent events), it appears the feature may be well-needed.
The mailshot sent out specifically focuses on the Mac App Store and Apple’s continued efforts to make it as safe as possible for both users and the developers looking to sell their software through it.
The Mac App Store is the safest place for users to get software for their Mac, but we also want to protect users when they get applications from other places. Gatekeeper is a new feature in OS X Mountain Lion that helps protect users from downloading and installing malicious software. Signing your applications, plug-ins, and installer packages with a Developer ID certificate lets Gatekeeper verify that they are not known malware and have not been tampered with.
If Apple deems that a registered developer isn’t playing ball under the system, the company will reserve the right to strip that developer’s registered ID away from them, in the process also stripping away the user trust in such a developer as Developer ID and GateKeeper become more well-known amongst OS X users.
OS X Mountain Lion is currently expected to make its public debut at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, set to be held June 11-15.
You can register for your own Developer ID at developer.apple.com.