Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports in his Power On newsletter that iPhone users in the EU will have the ability to download and install apps from sources outside of Apple’s App Store from the first half of 2024.
This change is being made by Apple to comply with the new Digital Markets Act (DMA) issued by the European Union, which came into effect on November 1, 2022. Its requirements state that “gatekeeper” companies like Apple must open their services and platforms to other companies and developers.
This process, known as sideloading, allows users to install apps on their devices that have been downloaded directly from a website or developer, as you would on a PC or Mac, or from a third-party app store, such as Amazon’s Appstore. , which originally launched for Android in 2011.
Apple has historically been opposed to allowing users to sideload apps, having published a document titled “Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps,” which detailed why the control it has over the App Store is a good matter, and that it believes that third-party app stores and sideloading pose a security risk.
The deadline for compliance with the EU’s DMA is March 6, 2024, so Apple is expected to implement these changes before this date. Microsoft has already made changes to Windows 11 to allow third-party app store integration, and Android has done the same. Historically, sideloading has always been supported.
Apple’s fees for developers who distribute through the App Store have always been controversial, often resulting in iOS subscription prices being higher for this very reason. It’s not known exactly how Apple will manage the sideloading process, but the update to introduce this will include a “highly controlled system.”
Via: The Verge