Pinstachio adds support for Mojave

The seventh(!) beta of Pinstachio has been released and this one was harder than expected to push out the door. Why? Apple Events changes in Mojave.

The story is simple: starting with Mojave, when apps attempt to control or automate another app, macOS will step in and show a dialog to ask the user permission for the app to “play” with other apps, much similar to how it’s done for other content (Contacts, location, etc.). This is another big step in Apple’s on-going mission to secure a user’s data and respect their privacy.

However, if you’ve read many of the blog posts online about this security addition, you can tell that Apple could’ve done better in making it friendlier to developers. Felix Schwarz wrote a very good post about it here, so I won’t go into much details.

If you’re a developer and are interested in a few thoughts and realizations obtained after adding support for this:

  1. Support this ASAP because users won’t know why their apps are failing if they accidentally (or purposefully) declined access. (Also known as: “this Pinstachio update should’ve been released a while back!”)
  2. Expect some headaches. Pinstachio’s interaction is very superficial and still took a while to figure out certain edge cases.
  3. Provide the best description possible of why the app is requesting access to another app inside the app’s plist. Hopefully it will be read and provide clarification.
  4. Provide an elaborate alert with instructions (as suggested by Felix), which will allow someone using the app to reverse course if they declined access. Because Apple does not make it easy!
  5. Test, test, test. (Expect to clear permissions a lot through the Terminal.)

Other than that, there were no earth-shattering revelations. And other developers have also expressed similar conclusions already. So if you’ve read into the subject before, you should be good.

Thanks for reading!

-Frank.

MacRecon @macrecon

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