Apple Is Allegedly Preparing To Allow Third-Party App Stores On The iPhone
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says Apple will let users install alternative app stores on iOS. According to his report, it responds to the recent European Union law.
Specifically, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) compels Apple to change its system. The law enacts “rules for digital gatekeepers to ensure open markets” in 2024.
As a result, Apple would need to open access to third-party app stores and enable sideloading. Moreover, Gurman mentioned changes to various software.
Why allow Apple third-party app stores?
Companies like Apple need to comply with various regulations to do business worldwide. However, territories like the European Union worry that they stifle competition in their respective markets.
Smaller tech companies may struggle to enter the industry as tech giants dominate it. In response, the EU created the Digital Markets Act to “ensure open markets.”
It would require tech companies like Apple to open their hardware to non-affiliate software. Yet, the law will not become active until March 6, 2024.
Long-time Apple insider Mark Gurman says it will require Apple to open its devices to third-party app stores. Why is the company adjusting two years prior?
Developers had to follow strict requirements to list their apps on the Apple App Store. As a result, users could safely download apps but did not have many options.
If Apple opens its ecosystem, it must modify programs and devices to accommodate these changes. Also, it would have to do that for several regions.
Aside from an Apple third-party app store, the law would require the firm to allow sideloading. In other words, it should allow users to install software from the web.
Let us compare this to Android phones. You can download apps from Google Play Store or install Android Package (APK) files from various websites.
Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi expressed his dismay towards the Digital Markets Act in a speech at Web Summit 2021.
He said the DMA opens users to huge online risks if it requires sideloading for tech companies. “Sideloading is a cyber criminal’s best friend, and requiring that on iPhone would be a gold rush for the malware industry,” explained Federighi.
Due to recent EU regulations, we might see an Apple third-party app store soon. As a result, iPhone and iPad users might have access to previously-unavailable apps in 2024.
Moreover, Mark Gurman said Apple would implement changes to camera access, the NFC chip, and the Find My app for AirTag competitors.
He said we would likely see these changes on “web browsing engines and other areas of Apple’s software,” too. Stay tuned for more updates at Inquirer Tech.
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