After over a year Apple has finally reviewed and approved the latest update to DEVONthink Personal for the App Store. For a long time DEVONthink in the App Store stayed at version 2.3.4 whereas on our website we were already at 2.7.2. The reason: shortly after we released version 2.3.4, Apple required all applications in the App Store to implement a technology called “sandboxing“.
This technology is intended to make the Mac experience more secure by ensuring that applications downloaded from the App Store cannot access anything on the computer except for what was granted by Apple. This is at least theoretically a good thing. Together with GateKeeper, sandboxing and the App Store create a (relatively) safe environment.
The downside is that especially applications that communicate with the rest of the Mac ecosystem are extremely hard to get working with sandboxing. For example, DEVONthink allows to directly index external files and folders, import your Evernote notes, install add-ons, to communicate with other applications, etc. DEVONsphere Express needs access to the frontmost window to deliver relevant search results to whatever you’re working on. In the App Store this all is no longer allowed or extremely limited now.
Consequently, as our applications are, in this respect, more complex than document-based apps such as, e.g., an image editor, it required substantial efforts to make even DEVONthink Personal compatible with the brave new sandboxing world. It’s done now, however, so you can expect that all further updates to DEVONthink Personal will be available through the App Store with just the usual couple of days of delay for Apple’s review.