- Nov 10, 2017
Apple is planning to allow for alternate app stores on iPhones and iPads ahead of European legislation that will require the company to support sideloading, reports Bloomberg.
The change would allow customers to download apps without needing to use the App Store, which would mean developers would not need to pay Apple's 15 to 30 percent fees, but to start with, Apple is only planning to implement sideloading support in Europe.
If other countries introduce similar legislation, alternate app stores could expand beyond the European Union. The United States, for example, is considering legislation that would require Apple to allow sideloading. Apple has claimed that sideloading will "undermine the privacy and security protections" that iPhone users rely on, leaving people vulnerable to malware, scams, data tracking, and other issues.
The European Union's Digital Markets Act that went into effect on November 1 requires "gatekeeper" companies to open up their services and platforms to other companies and developers. The DMA will have a major impact on Apple's platforms, and it could result in Apple making major changes to the App Store, Messages, FaceTime, Siri, and more. Apple has until March 6, 2024 to comply with the EU's rules.
According to Bloomberg, Apple's software engineering and services employees are working to open up "key elements of Apple's platforms," with Apple using a "significant amount of resources" for the change. Apple is planning for the functionality to be ready for iOS 17 in 2023, which would put it ahead of the deadline. There is a danger that these drastic updates could impact work on new features slated for iOS 17, some employees told Bloomberg.
Apple is planning to allow for alternate app stores on iPhones and iPads ahead of European legislation that will require the company to support...