Apple adds new code signing technotes

If you’re looking to find out more about code signing for Apple’s platforms (iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS etc.) then Apple has just published some new content on the topic.

Apple has been slowly adding more technical articles back to the Apple Developer site since adding the new Technotes section in February, and in the last few days the company has added a new series of articles about code signing.

The articles form a series – dubbed ‘Inside code signing’ – that deep-dive into the world of code signing and cover certificates, hashing, provisioning profiles and more.

Code signing is a foundational technology on all Apple platforms. Many documents that discuss code signing focus on solving a specific problem. The Inside Code Signing technote series is different: It peeks behind the code signing curtain, to give you a better understanding of how this technology works.

TN3125: Inside Code Signing: Provisioning Profiles

Not only does Apple cover theoretical concepts, there’s also a sprinkling of examples of command line tools that can be used to extract information from provisioning profiles, perform code signing and more.

Apple had been posting some of the content about code signing recently to the Apple Developer Forums, but having them centralised in this series on the Technotes site is much better for discoverability and readability.

The language of the articles has also been made more formal, with more examples provided to better suit the technotes format and style.

Apple shares more details about WWDC22 ‘special event’

As excitement builds towards WWDC 2022, Apple has today shared more details about what to expect at the ‘special event’ at the Apple Park campus:

We’re hosting a special all-day experience at Apple Park on June 6 to kick off WWDC22. Gather with others in the developer community to watch the keynote and State of the Union videos alongside Apple engineers and experts, explore the all-new Developer Center, and so much more.

Apple Developer site

Submissions are open from May 9 at 9:00 a.m. PT to May 11 at 9:00 a.m. PT, with successful developers notified by May 12 at 6:00 p.m. PT.

It’s worth noting that the Developer Center referred to here is a new building on Apple Park. This first came to light last year as part of the Apple vs Epic trial. It isn’t referring to the virtual Developer Center that hosts the developer documentation, downloads and account management.

The Developer Center could be a great place to show off some new hardware, especially if it’s designed to be a similar setup like that of the old Compatibility Labs. With new VR and even AR hardware rumoured in the coming years, it seems like it’ll be a popular place to visit.

There’s still no word on where the keynote and State of the Union address will be held on campus. Potential locations include indoors at the Steve Jobs theatre, or even in the center of the ring at the rainbow stage.

Surprisingly Apple also won’t be requiring attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However if selected you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 3 days prior.

Apple clarifies app removal policy

Apple has issued a note to developers after recent media reports about them removing apps from the App Store that haven’t been updated in 2+ years:

As part of the App Store Improvements process, developers of apps that have not been updated within the last three years and fail to meet a minimal download threshold — meaning the app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period — receive an email notifying them that their app has been identified for possible removal from the App Store.

Apple always wants to help developers get and keep quality software on the App Store. That’s why developers can appeal app removals. And developers, including those who recently received a notice, will now be given more time to update their apps if needed — up to 90 days. Apps that are removed will continue to function as normal for users who have already downloaded the app on their device.

Apple Developer News & Updates

It’s unclear why this has suddenly made mainstream headlines, as this program has been ongoing for many years now since 2016. Perhaps this time around Apple has inadvertently targeted more popular app developers, or enough time has passed since the program was announced that many forgot about it?

If you do get hit by an app removal notice, you’ll now have 90 days (an increase from 30 days) to issue an update to keep the app in the store.

And based on the wording of the post, if your app continues to function and doesn’t require an update you can appeal to Apple to keep the app in the store.