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Apple warns developers that Catalina notarization enforcement begins Feb 3

iMac Pro
iMac Pro (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has told developers that apps submitted on or after Feb 3 must be notarized.
  • Initial notarization requirements were relaxed in September.
  • This only applies to apps distributed outside the App Store.

Apple has today told developers (opens in new tab) that its original app notarization rules will kick in as of February 3, 2020, after they were initially relaxed in September.

Following developer outcry earlier this year Apple relaxed the notarization requirements for apps installed on macOS Catalina via routes other than the App Store. But those relaxed rules will soon come to an end.

In June, we announced that all Mac software distributed outside the Mac App Store must be notarized by Apple in order to run by default on macOS Catalina. In September, we temporarily adjusted the notarization prerequisites to make this transition easier and to protect users on macOS Catalina who continue to use older versions of software. Starting February 3, 2020, all submitted software must meet the original notarization prerequisites

Apple says that developers should begin uploading their apps to the notary service, with any warnings received set to be changed to errors as of February 3. At that point the app will simply not install on macOS Catalina.

If you haven't yet done so, upload your software to the notary service and review the developer log for warnings. These warnings will become errors starting February 3 and must be fixed in order to have your software notarized. Software notarized before February 3 will continue to run by default on macOS Catalina.As a reminder, all installer packages must be signed since they may contain executable code. Disk images do not need to be signed, although signing them can help your users verify their contents.

The clock is ticking.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • This will hurt apple and rightfully so. Making developers jump through unnecessary hoops to get their software to run on your platform isn’t the right thing to do