Apple released its latest iOS 17.2 beta update to the public this week, and there’s a hint in its code that app sideloading, or downloading apps from third-party app stores, could soon be coming to the best iPhones. Evidence of this is reportedly hidden within the code.
That’s according to the insightful team at 9to5 Mac, who discovered a new public framework in the iOS 17.2 beta code called “Managed App Distribution.” Initially, the outlet hypothesized that this API could be related to modernizing MDM solutions for installing enterprise apps. , but some holes in that theory quickly began to become apparent. For one, the iPhone already has this feature. The API also includes references to region locks. This is a component that doesn’t make much sense for an MDM solution, but here it is: Required in certain countries to enable sideloading apps according to local regulations.
Digging a little deeper, this API has basic controls for downloading, installing, and updating apps from external sources, as well as extension endpoints declared within the system that allow other apps to use this type. I found out that it is now possible to create extensions. There are also new unused rights that allow you to give third-party apps the permissions they need to install other apps on your iPhone.
“In other words, this allows developers to create their own app stores,” 9to5Mac wrote.
Back in April, a Bloomberg report talked about Apple’s plans to lay the groundwork for app sideloading in iOS 17, finally giving iPhone users access to a feature that has long been included in the best Android phones. Detailed. Historically, Apple has made the iPhone ecosystem a walled garden, as users can only download apps from the company’s official App Store. Enabling sideloading will allow iPhone users to download apps hosted outside of the App Store for the first time, while also giving his iOS developers 15-30% of his App Store purchases made by Apple. provided a way to avoid the share.
Of course, all of this is due to new regulations from the European Union, which has thrown its foot into the fire to change Apple’s ways. The European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which comes into effect in 2024, is an EU law that will force big technology companies to open up their services and platforms to other developers and give users the choice to download apps from a variety of sources. A historic reboot of the digital rulebook.
Perhaps this is why Apple has decided to focus on promoting another feature added in the latest iOS 17 beta: spatial video recording, which captures video in 3D. You can enable the feature and start recording now, but you won’t actually see these lifelike videos in all their glory until Apple Vision Pro arrives sometime next year.