Apply May Finally Allow Sideloading of iOS Apps in EU next Year

Apple App Store

No matter how big Apple becomes, like any other company, it must follow the laws set by regulatory bodies. As you know, the latest iPhone 15 series has a USB Type-C port. This was done due to a previously passed EU law, which required electronic devices to have USB-C. Now it appears that Apple may have to follow another EU law that forces the company to act as an honest entity within the digital app market. Apple’s policy of having the official App Store as the only source for new apps could change with this!

Apple could allow side-loading apps on iPhone for EU users in 2024: details

The speculation comes from the latest report via Bloomberg’s Mark Gurmanstating that Apple has a “highly controlled system” Around this time. This will allow iPhone users in the EU to do this install apps from other sources, not just the Apple App Store. This change could happen as early as the first half of the year 2024 for users in the EU.

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So why is Apple going to allow sideloading?? There’s another important EU law that’s causing Apple to change things up. It is known as the Digital Markets Act (D.M.A). This law aims to make the markets present in the digital sector’fairer and more contestable.’ DMA uses specific criteria to analyze which companies are considered ‘gatekeepers’.

DMA does not allow entities designated as “gatekeepers” to close off their core services, such as the App Store, to competition. Companies must comply with the obligations and prohibitions listed in the law, which was adopted in 2022. There has been speculation about it ever since side-loading will soon be available on iPhones.

Apple iPhone app store
Apple’s App Store is where you are officially get new apps for your iPhone, but that may change soon (Image courtesy: Apple)

Apple will also reportedly change the way the Messages app and payment apps work on the device. MacRumors states that this could be will be implemented via a localized iOS 17 update. But there’s also a chance the change will take effect when Apple launches iOS 18 during the annual WWDC event. It is unclear for now which exact iOS update will include this change. We will keep you informed as the situation progresses.

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For those who don’t know, sideloading is essentially the ability to install apps from another source. It’s a popular feature in iOS jailbreaks, although it has been possible to side-load tweaks and apps without jailbreaking as well.

What does Apple think about side charging?

Apple’s position on side-loading is not positive at all. Craig Federighi, Senior VP at Apple, spoke publicly about side-loading at the 2021 Web Summit. He said that ‘Sideloading is cybercriminals’ best friend.’ In addition, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook spoke in 2022 about the dangers of sideloading apps on iPhones and iPads.

Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi on sideloading
Apple really does NOT condone sideloading (Image courtesy: Web Summit 2021)

How exactly Apple will implement this change and whether it will be completely safe for users to sideload using the upcoming “highly controlled system” (as Gurman said it would be) is something we’ll have to see for ourselves. This is a pretty tricky situation for Apple, considering how closed off its ecosystem is.

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What do you think about sideloading apps on iPhone? Do you think this change will even make its way to other countries and eventually worldwide? Let us know in the comments below.

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