Apple chief software officer accuses Mac security of keeping control of iPhone App Store
Apple Inc.’s senior software engineer slammed the security of its own Mac operating system in an attempt to explain why the company shouldn’t be forced by a judge to loosen its grip on iPhone app distribution and iPad, like demanding Epic Games Inc.
Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, said during a federal court trial in Oakland, Calif., On Wednesday that his experience with malware imported to the macOS system shows how security would be eroded if the company allowed iPhone and iPad users to settle down. software from the web or other stores, such as Mac.
âToday we have a level of malware on Macs that we don’t find acceptable,â mainly because the system allows users to install software that is not approved by Apple, said Federighi. This makes it less secure than iOS and iPadOS, the operating systems that power the iPhone and iPad, he said.
Allowing apps from other stores or locations on the iPhone would create a “very, very bad situation for our customers,” including “a huge decrease in their security,” Federighi said. He also said iPhones and iPads have security protections, including the App Store review process, to keep products malware-free.
Later in his testimony, Federighi said that despite its malware issues, the Mac is the safest choice among personal computers and is more secure than those running Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system.
Federighi said the rival Android operating system, which allows third-party stores, faces similar security concerns. “It is well understood in the security community that Android has a malware problem.” Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, was successful in blocking malware, he said.
Responding to a hypothetical situation where third-party app download stores would be allowed, Federighi said Apple’s “security stack” is built end to end in such a way that it would be difficult to let third parties manage user security and privacy. He would have “serious concerns” if Apple were to cede control of security to third parties, he said.
Earlier in the essay, Epic attempted to argue that while installing software from third-party stores on the Mac is tolerated by Apple, it should be allowed on the iPhone and iPad as well. Epic’s attorney attempted to punch holes in Apple’s reply on Wednesday, asking Federighi if Apple is telling users they should buy iPads instead of Macs if they’re looking for security.
Apple’s security and privacy measures draw users to iOS devices, Federighi said. âWhen users buy an Apple device, they do it because they have chosen an intuitive and consistent user experience that is secure and reliable.â
Federighi said the total Mac user base is less than one.tenth the size of the iPhone and iPad population, estimated at over one billion active devices.