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Gatekeeper: Alfred and the future of OS X

Buckingham Palace

Apple recently announced OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, which contains great new security features to keep your Mac safe from malware. One of these new technologies, Gatekeeper, prevents unauthorised code from running on your Mac.

Gatekeeper - the perfect solution for Alfred

Gatekeeper aims to keep you safe from malware when downloading apps outside of the Mac App Store. By default, Gatekeeper allows you to install apps from both the Mac App Store and from developers who digitally sign their applications with an Apple-certified Developer ID.

The great news is that Alfred 1.2 is already signed with our Developer ID. In simple terms, this means that Alfred and his Powerpack work great on Mountain Lion 10.8 without having to change any security settings, keeping your Mac as safe as possible!

What about the App Store?

Many of you have asked whether we intend to put Alfred's Powerpack in the Mac App Store. In November, we explained why we planned to keep Alfred out of the MAS due to the new Sandboxing requirements. Today, 1st June, Sandboxing comes into place in the MAS.

In a nutshell, Sandboxing aims to protect users by restricting what an application can do by keeping it in its own "box" and only allowing limited authorised access to specific files and resources on your system. Sandboxing also makes it much easier for Apple to review applications into the store as apps simply can't do things outside of this "box".

Meanwhile, Alfred works deep into the heart of your Mac. He gives you very fast access to everything your Mac has to offer, especially with the Powerpack - searching, scripting, file interactions and many more richly integrated features. Thankfully, Apple's new Gatekeeper paves the way for us to keep Alfred as productive as possible without having to work within the limitations of a sandbox.

On the topic of new features...

You'll continue to find the free version of Alfred in the MAS, as Apple allows existing apps to remain in the store and receive bug fixes. However, if you're looking for the big juicy new features, your best bet is to download Alfred from our website. With this version, you can take advantage of the Powerpack and of pre-releases, which give you a sneak preview of new features.

Andrew has also been hard at work on the next release, which brings you the much-anticipated QuickLook, 1Password integration improvements and many more improvements. That's something to look forward to in the next few weeks!

[Photo credit: Nick Schooley, The Gates at Buckingham Palace on Flickr]

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