Along with the preview for OS X Mountain Lion came a new feature called Gatekeeper. This feature, designed for security, allowed users to only be able to run apps from the Mac App Store, or from “trusted developers”. These “trusted” developers are part of a new system Apple is implementing called Developer ID. They sent out emails to devs earlier today:
The Mac App Store is the safest place for users to get software for their Mac, but we also want to protect users when they download applications from other places. Developer ID is a new way to help prevent users from installing malware on their Mac. Along with Gatekeeper, a new feature in Mountain Lion, signing applications with your Developer ID certificate provides users with the confidence that your application is not known malware and has not been tampered with.
Get your applications ready for Gatekeeper today. It’s easy to get started with Developer ID using the automated certificate request tools in Xcode 4.3 or the Developer Certificate Utility.
This system allows you to become a trusted developer without having to publish your app on the App Store. With the Developer ID system, developers can release their apps how they choose, and still have users be assured of their apps security. Apple will be rolling out this system in coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.