A few months ago, I discussed how new sandboxing requirements have prompted us to move away from the Mac App Store for future releases. Since that blog post, a few things happened:
- The deadline was delayed to 1st June, giving everyone some extra time
- Apple made some changes to OS X to allow more behaviours to be supported within the sandbox
- Apple decided that they would still allow bugfix updates to non-sandboxed apps that were already available in the Mac App Store prior to 1st June
All these moves were welcome, and we thank Apple for making them. We have subsequently been able to publish SourceTree 1.4 to the App Store. We even had an expedited bug fix approved after the 1st June deadline, which was very useful.
Going forward with future releases, however, the changes that have been made to the sandbox still do not quite address all of the issues we have with it. While we could work around them, it would downgrade the user experience, which has always been a red line for us. We also have to consider the fact that the main alternatives to SourceTree are not distributed on the Mac App Store and are therefore not constrained by these rules.
Therefore our position has not materially changed since the original decision: SourceTree 1.5 onwards will only be distributed via sourcetreeapp.com. We advise all users on the Mac App Store to migrate to the direct download version, either now or when 1.5 is released, so you can benefit from the awesome new stuff we have in store for you.
[This update is just to clarify the questions we’ve had from people who have seen the recent 1.4 updates on the Mac App Store. We have already started using the new Developer ID code signatures since 1.4.4, which means the direct download version is compatible with Gatekeeper on Mountain Lion — Apple’s recommended method to distribute apps outside the Mac App Store.]
Update December 2012:
We decided to speculatively submit further 1.5 updates to the Mac App Store anyway, and so far, reviewers have allowed the updates to be approved. Given the official line from Apple that only bugfix releases will be allowed on the Mac App Store without sandboxing, we cannot guarantee that further updates will be accepted. We will continue to submit them as a convenience for our users who still wish to use the Mac App Store version, for as long as they continue to be approved, but must warn you that this situation may not continue indefinitely – we’re basically at Apple’s mercy here. We continue to recommend using the direct version from sourcetreeapp.com which receives updates much faster (review delays on MAS are running at several weeks) and is also able to support some features which MAS does not allow.
Update January 2013:
Apple has now stopped accepting updates to SourceTree in the Mac App Store, as we expected, although a little later than we thought. Therefore SourceTree 1.5.6 will be the last version available on the Mac App Store, you should switch to the direct version from http://sourcetreeapp.com if you want future updates (and why wouldn’t you? 😉 ).