iOS 17 to allow sideloading apps on iPhone
|Richard Harris in Apps Tuesday, April 25, 2023|
Mark Gurman from Bloomberg recently revealed that Apple iOS 17 will reportedly open up the iPhone to sideloading after the Digital Markets Act takes effect in 2024. Apple is likely preparing to comply and allow users to have more choices when it comes to the app store.
According to Mark Gurman from Bloomberg, iOS 17 will reportedly open up the iPhone to sideloading.
"Apple Inc. is preparing to allow alternative app stores on its iPhones and iPads, part of a sweeping overhaul aimed at complying with strict European Union requirements coming in 2024.
Software engineering and services employees are engaged in a major push to open up key elements of Apple's platforms, according to people familiar with the efforts. As part of the changes, customers could ultimately download third-party software to their iPhones and iPads without using the company's App Store, sidestepping Apple's restrictions and the up-to-30% commission it imposes on payments.
The moves, a reversal of long-held policies, are a response to EU laws aimed at leveling the playing field for third-party developers and improving the digital lives of consumers. For years, regulators and software makers have complained that Apple and Google, which run the two biggest mobile app stores, wield too much power as gatekeepers."
iOS 17 to allow sideloading apps on iPhone
"If similar laws are passed in additional countries, Apple's project could lay the groundwork for other regions, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the work is private. But the company's changes are designed initially to just go into effect in Europe.
Even so, the news bolstered shares of companies that offer dating services and other apps. Match Group Inc. jumped as much as 10% and Bumble Inc. was up as much as 8.6%, sign investors think the companies could get a break from Apple's commissions. Spotify Technology SA, the audio streaming service, climbed as much as 9.7%. Apple's shares, meanwhile, were little changed.
A spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based company declined to comment on the upcoming changes.
The main new European law, dubbed the Digital Markets Act, takes effect in the coming months, but companies aren't required to comply with all of the rules until 2024. Government officials in the US and other countries have pushed for similar laws but haven't gotten as far as the EU yet.
The act requires technology companies to allow the installation of third-party apps and let users more easily change default settings. The rules demand that messaging services work together and that outside developers get equal access to core features within apps and services.
The laws apply to technology companies with market valuations of at least €75 billion ($80 billion) and a minimum of 45 million monthly users within the EU.
The changes underway within Apple are being led by Andreas Wendker, a longtime software engineering vice president who reports to Craig Federighi, the company's top software executive. Jeff Robbin, Apple's top engineering manager for its services, who reports to head of services Eddy Cue, is also involved.
Apple is applying a significant amount of resources to the companywide endeavor. It hasn't been a popular initiative within Apple, considering that the company has spent years decrying the need for "sideloading", the process of installing software without using the official App Store. In lobbying against the new European laws, Apple has argued that sideloading could put unsafe apps on consumers' devices and undermine privacy.
Some engineers working on the plan also see it as a distraction from the typical day-to-day development of future features, according to the people. The company is aiming for the changes to be ready as part of an update to next year's iOS 17, which would be in line with requirements.
Apple generated about $95 billion in revenue from Europe, which includes the EU and the UK, during fiscal 2022. That revenue base will likely take a hit when it makes the changes, which are poised to make the App Store less lucrative.
Overall, though, Apple should be able to absorb the financial impact. The App Store makes up 6% of total revenue, and Europe’s contribution to that is likely less than 2%, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Anurag Rana and Andrew Girard."
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