Apple’s release of its Mountain Lion software isn’t until “late summer,” though today the company began nudging developers to get their software up to speed with its new security feature.
In an e-mail sent to developers this afternoon and forwarded on to CNET, Apple urged developers to start signing their apps and other software with their Apple Developer ID certificate so they will get by Gatekeeper, a security feature that’s built into Apple’s next OS and designed to keep malware at bay.
“Gatekeeper is a new feature in OS X Mountain Lion that helps protect users from downloading and installing malicious software,” Apple told developers. “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.”
The feature has three levels of security, though by default it’s set up to keep software from being installed unless it’s sold through Apple’s Mac App Store, or been certified by a registered Apple developer. The two other options allow users to either install anything without running the additional security check (which is how it works in existing versions of the OS), or limit software installations to Apple’s Mac App Store.
As mentioned in previous coverage, Mountain Lion is a successor to OS X 10.7 Lion, which Apple released last July. The software takes several cues from Apple’s iOS platform, bringing over features like Notification Center, and apps like Reminders and Notepad.
Apple is currently on its third developer preview of Mountain Lion. The first preview came in February, alongside the unveiling of the upcoming OS.