iOS 17 sideloading: Is sideloading coming to iOS 17?

If you’re excited about iOS 17’s sideloading feature, take a step forward. The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into effect on November 1, 2022, requiring ‘gatekeeper’ companies to open their services and platforms to third-party companies and developers. It means that Apple needs to implement the sideloading feature, which allows users to download apps from third-party app stores.

That said, Apple won’t widely offer such a feature, which it has consistently resisted. If you’re curious if sideloading is coming iOS 17 or are you excited to install apps from third party stores on your iPhone, we have your back. Continue and check whether iOS 17 supports sideloading in your country or not.

Is sideloading available in iOS 17?

iOS 17

Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t rolled out sideloading in iOS 17 yet, and we didn’t see anything about third-party app stores at the WWDC 2023 event or the fall event where it announced the new app store. iPhone 15 series. While Apple is choosing to remain quiet on whether iOS 17 will bring sideloading to iPhones, it will have to comply with EU law that requires all smartphone makers to allow users to download apps from alternative app stores.

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Will iOS 17 support sideloading?

With a heavy heart, Apple will have to allow sideloading apps on your iPhone, but there is a catch. It is expected that the sideloading feature will only be available in European regions where the DMA applies. No other country, not even the US, gets the sideloading feature. Here is a list of some countries where sideloading for iOS 17 could be available:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Sweden
  • Spain

It is worth knowing that following the January 2020 Brexit law, Britain has now left the EU and is not adhering to regulations. So users in Great Britain cannot use sideloading on their iPhones.

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When does iOS support sideloading?

iOS 17 sideloading: is sideloading coming to iOS 17?
Source: European Commission

The DMA will come into effect in Europe from March 2024. Apple therefore has six months to implement the changes. The giant already released the final version of iOS on September 18, 2023 and did not introduce sideloading of apps. We’ll continue to see Apple add features to its latest iPhone operating system via iOS 17.x updates in the coming months. Even though Apple hasn’t revealed any details about when sideloading will come to iOS 17 users in Europe, it should be here in March 2024.

What if Apple ignores DMA?

The European Union is one of the most important markets for Apple. So the problem is that it has to comply with the DMA or keep fighting for it. Well, Apple could choose to skip implementing sideloading on the iPhone and ignore the European Digital Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).

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That said, if the Cupertino-based tech giant fails to comply with the DMA, it faces fines of up to 20% of the company’s total annual revenue, which amounts to tens of billions. While Apple has always been against sideloading apps on behalf of undermining the privacy and security of Apple users, it recently said the company will comply with EU regulations. Even if Apple agreed to it, it’s a forced decision, just like the adoption of USB-C on iPhone 15 models.

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