Due to new regulations in the EU, Apple will soon allow side-loading of apps on iOS devices. This means that iPhone users can install apps on their devices for free without going directly through the App Store. Now we have a good idea of when this change will happen.
The European Union’s Digital Markets Act came into effect at the end of 2022 and required platform holders to open their platforms. While side-loading is already possible on Android devices, it is not yet available on iOS, except that developers can install beta apps for testing. However, this will change in 2024.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in the latest issue of the Power On newsletter, Apple will introduce a “highly controlled system” that will allow users to install apps hosted outside the App Store on iOS. Previous rumors claimed that this change could come with iOS 17.2, but Gurman’s new report contradicts this, claiming the update will arrive in the first half of 2024.
While Apple has complied with EU regulations to bring USB-C to the iPhone globally, it’s possible that side-loading apps will only be made available within the EU, but we haven’t gotten full confirmation on Apple’s plans yet . If current information is correct, everything will become clear in the coming months, possibly ahead of Apple’s annual WWDC event in June.
KitGuru says: Many users will argue that one of the strengths of iOS is the highly optimized environment and curated nature of the App Store. However, none of these things should be hampered by the introduction of side loading. Now we’ll just have to wait and see how Apple’s ‘controlled’ solution will work and whether it will be available globally, or only within EU countries.
Become a patron!