Home Technology How Apple will finally allow sideloading of third-party apps on iPhone

How Apple will finally allow sideloading of third-party apps on iPhone

How Apple will finally allow sideloading of third-party apps on iPhone

Apple is preparing to add third-party app stores to iOS. This is almost certainly to comply with new EU laws enacted for next year. Despite Apple’s claims, sideloading is not dangerous.

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Apple will soon allow third-party app stores on the iPhone and iPad, thanks to new EU law.

The change won’t happen tomorrow, but thanks to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which takes effect next year, Apple’s software engineers are hard at work preparing to comply. This effort includes adding “sideloading” or installing apps from sources other than the official Apple App Store. This follows USB-C, which the EU has forced on phone makers as the standard charging port, and which Apple is expected to add to the iPhone 15 this fall. Finally.

Some critics have pointed out that sideloading has been available on the Mac for years without major security issues, calling into question Apple’s reasoning for not allowing it on iOS. Others have pointed out the benefits of being able to install anywhere of apps, which could foster competition and innovation in the app market,” software engineer Drew Romero told Lifewire via email.

Apparently sideloading isn’t that dangerous

So far, Apple has labeled sideloading as dangerous. At the 2021 Web Summit, Apple’s head of software engineering Craig Federighi called it a “gold rush for the malware industry”.

And yet, the Mac has allowed users to install any app from anywhere from the start. At any point in its nearly 40 years of existence, has this caused a rush of malware on the Mac? It’s not.

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Also remember that iOS was designed from the ground up to be secure, while the Mac was originally created in a time before malware, the internet, or even modern email existed. It’s pretty clear that Apple’s roar on the subject probably had more to do with the 30 percent discount on all App Store transactions.

“Apple’s resistance to sideloading has always been more about maintaining control of the software market on their devices than user security. While Apple has a track record of taking concrete steps to protect users and blocking sideloading, this has continued to reached a certain level, it’s hard to deny that they had an ulterior motive here,” Ben Michael, attorney at Michael and Associates, told Lifewire via email.

Third Party Apps Open up iPhones to so much more

Given Apple’s track record of circumventing technology-related laws, it will likely do the bare minimum to comply. There will almost certainly be no alternative app store icons on your iPhone’s home screen. You’ll probably have to dive deep into the Settings app, unlock all sorts of permissions and settings, and then somehow get the apps onto the device.

Apple will also likely find another way to get rid of the 30 percent tax it charges on all app transactions (or 15 percent for some smaller developers). When forced to open its South Korean App Store to third-party in-app payment systems, Apple eventually added the option, but ultimately took an even higher 33 percent sales cut until it corrected this “mistake.”

But even if Apple makes it tough and continues to charge developers, there’s still an important benefit to going outside the App Store: avoiding Apple’s review process.

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If you’ve spent any time reading technology news, you’ll know that Apple’s app review process is somewhat erratic. The team dismisses apps for alleged violations while numerous other apps do the same. Apps with web browsers are rejected because they can display porn, for example, just like any other browser. While dodgy games aimed at children with predatory in-app purchase systems are popping up daily.

This has a chilling effect on the kind of apps developers are willing to make. If you’re Adobe, you can call Apple’s top buyers and get a head start in the review process. But smaller indie developers might not even bother investing years of work into an app if they risk not even getting it in stores.

Opening up the iOS platform allows us to see more complex apps, making the iPad and iPhone more versatile, mature computers.

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