Update week! As expected, macOS 14.3, iOS 17.3 and siblings this week were released this week.

This is the first issue of MacAdmins.news using the new service to all subscribers. Thanks to all who helped with testing! Hope you enjoy the new look and feel.

Separating and migrating of the weekly news summary from the Scripting OS X blog took longer than I had originally planned, but I am quite happy with the result. I will be exploring some new features over the next few weeks and see what I and you, the readers, like. Feedback is always welcome.

This is also the 300th email issue of the news summary! It makes me terribly proud and happy to see how it has grown from a careful experiment nearly six years ago to more than 1700 subscribers now! Thank you all who read this every week.

However, most of the credit has to go to all Mac admins who put in the time and effort to write and share their experiences and work with the community. Without all of their work, this community would not be the same and this news summary would not exist. Thank you!

On to 400!

📸 Focus

40 years of Macintosh

Apple introduced the Macintosh forty years ago this week. Much has been written about that this week.

The first Mac that I worked on was a IIci at a friend's house. We were avid D&D players and used their Mac to design our own character sheets and print them on a LaserWriter. (another anniversary: Dungeons and Dragons was published fifty years ago today!) Obviously, I was a big tech fan already, and the Macintosh hooked me in a special way. Teenage-me would not have been surprised, that my career would orbit around the Mac and Apple.

The Mac platform has persisted and adapted over the years, through several major hardware and software changes, Apple's near bankruptcy and resurgence, the rise of the internet and mobile computing. Along the way, the Mac has "inspired" much of the other computing platforms (and, to be fair, learned a lot from them, as well).

The distinctively friendly all-in-one design of the original Macintosh lives on in the iMac. The Mac platform lives on in all the MacBooks, Mac minis, Studios and Pro. Its principles, ideas and values have spread to the iPhones, iPads, and all the other technology it spawned. The iPhone platform with iOS, has far outgrown the Mac. Even so, there are more Macs being sold and used right now, than ever before.

After four decades, the Mac is still going strong and serves many vital roles. I am very much looking forward to experiencing how the Mac continues to develop and adapt over the next decades...

📰 News and Opinion

In last week's issue, I talked (some might say ranted) about Apple's App Store strategies. Last week, we still didn't know how Apple would meet the requirements of the European Digital Markets Act (DMA). This week, we got beta versions of iOS 17.4 and siblings (macOS 14.4 beta is still outstanding as I write this) and Apple has published their solutions.

There are a multitude of changes, that many others have already written about. The new rules are limited to iOS and the 27 countries of the EU, but will have a big impact on developers publishing apps. Most importantly, Apple will allow third parties in the EU to create marketplaces which can distribute apps.

There is a lot to unpack and process here. Apple will require all apps that are distributed through an alternate marketplace to undergo notarization where they are reviewed and checked for obvious bugs and malware. While this sounds like notarization on macOS, the documented requirements are much more stringent. Even with the new rules, there is no easy way for non-developers to sideload apps unless you are going through a marketplace.

In their documentation Apple also includes some fear mongering about how the new systems cannot possibly as secure as the App Stores. This would be more believable if there were better curation of fairly obvious scams on the App Store. Also, macOS has shown that requiring signing and notarization does provide good security.

There are a quite few open questions for Apple device management here, like "can we block alternative marketplaces on managed iPhones with MDM?" We don't know specifics yet, and it is still early in the beta phase, but I would be surprised if we didn't get this (eventually). But further than that, one wonders how this might be used in a constructive way to supplement an MDM solution with apps from an alternative marketplace. Will there be capabilities and entire categories of tools, that weren't possible before?

The new rules and features are quite detailed and complex. Apple has already been designing and working on this for quite some time. While Apple's FUD in the documentation still seems a bit spiteful, the new EU rules still quite the contrast to the implementation of external payment options in the US that sparked my commentary last week.

There are now two major regions with different App Store rules from the rest of the world.

Apple is A/B testing the future of the App Store...

⚙️ Apple Updates


iOS and iPadOS

Other Platforms

🔨 Support and Tutorials

♻️ Updates and Releases

🎧 Listen