Sideloading apps from the web in EU possible with iOS 17.5

Posted:
in iOS

As promised, the iOS 17.5 beta includes support for sideloading apps directly from authorized developer websites in the European Union.

The App Store icon on a blue background
Apple App Store



When Apple first released its plans for complying with the EU's Digital Markets Act, it only intended to allow sideloading via authorized alternative app marketplaces. Regulators disagreed with this implementation and pressured Apple to add support for website downloads as well, and it promised to by a spring update.

Code references to Web Distribution discovered by MacRumors suggest iOS 17.5 will enable sideloading from websites. It's not possible to sideload any app from any website, as Apple still requires stringent security checks and authorization.

Developers must sign up for the new EU business terms that allow them to create third-party app marketplaces. To do that, they must have been in the Developer Program for two years or more and have an app with more than a million first installs annually.

Apple didn't directly mention the alternative requirement for app marketplaces as a possible option for developers, but it could also be allowed for Web Distribution. The alternative requires a standby letter of credit of one million Euros and two years in the Developer Program.

The first iOS 17.5 beta released on Tuesday, April 2 with minimal user-facing updates like changes to the Podcasts app widget. The public release likely won't arrive until sometime in late April or early May.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    nubusnubus Posts: 377member
    Doing a Dr. Evil style "one million downloads" won't work. The smallest country by population in the EU has < 550,000 citizens. Apps serving niche markets run into the same problem. It prohibits new apps from growing into big apps using new distribution methods. It would IMHO be smart for Apple to deliver before politicians start rewriting the DMA.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 10
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,956member
    Apple is slowly but surely making an alternative Europhone for the EU market. Seems to be the only way to keep them from ruining the basic design for the rest of us. As long as such “regionized” models are interoperable (tourists can use them overseas), I see no big problem except for the added cost for Apple having to maintain more SKUs. On the other hand, if the EU succeeds in emasculating the phone to the point where it no longer has any advantage over its competitors, sales could suffer. 
    tmaywatto_cobradanoxchiawilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 10
    Normal installation, not "sideloading".  Calling it "sideloading" implies it's something shady, which it absolutely is NOT.  It's simply the normal and ordinary way to install software, unlike the actually shady "app store" nonsense.

    And sadly, it's STILL not normal installation because it still requires Mommy Apple to give permission, nor is it yet available outside the EU.
    libertymatters
  • Reply 4 of 10
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,840member
    Normal installation, not "sideloading".  Calling it "sideloading" implies it's something shady, which it absolutely is NOT.  It's simply the normal and ordinary way to install software, unlike the actually shady "app store" nonsense.

    And sadly, it's STILL not normal installation because it still requires Mommy Apple to give permission, nor is it yet available outside the EU.
    Parasitic Sideloading ....... And yes there is now a EU tech fork in the road and as time goes on the divide will get bigger and the EU will recede into the distance with the rest of the world outside the EU moving on.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    danox said:
    Normal installation, not "sideloading".  Calling it "sideloading" implies it's something shady, which it absolutely is NOT.  It's simply the normal and ordinary way to install software, unlike the actually shady "app store" nonsense.

    And sadly, it's STILL not normal installation because it still requires Mommy Apple to give permission, nor is it yet available outside the EU.
    Parasitic Sideloading ....... And yes there is now a EU tech fork in the road and as time goes on the divide will get bigger and the EU will recede into the distance with the rest of the world outside the EU moving on.
    Apple is the parasite here, sucking the life out of the otherwise great iPhone with the parasitic app store.

    And normal installation IS coming to the rest of the world.  Expect more lawsuits and new US laws soon to end Apple's parasitic monopoly that's still blocking normal installation here.
    libertymatters
  • Reply 6 of 10
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,956member
    Sorry, but I choose to live in Apple’s “walled garden.” I am not forced to be there and do not need or want to be rescued by those who wrap themselves in the flag of freedom from “Mommy Apple.” Walls exist for a reason, either to keep people in, or others out. If you haven’t noticed it’s a nightmare out there and I am happy to pay extra to be protected from all that “freedom.”
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Sorry, but I choose to live in Apple’s “walled garden.” I am not forced to be there and do not need or want to be rescued by those who wrap themselves in the flag of freedom from “Mommy Apple.” Walls exist for a reason, either to keep people in, or others out. If you haven’t noticed it’s a nightmare out there and I am happy to pay extra to be protected from all that “freedom.”
    Nobody is going to force you to normally install software on your iPhone.

    That doesn't give you or Apple the right to keep me from normally installing software on mine.
    libertymatters
  • Reply 8 of 10
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,661member
    Sorry, but I choose to live in Apple’s “walled garden.” I am not forced to be there and do not need or want to be rescued by those who wrap themselves in the flag of freedom from “Mommy Apple.” Walls exist for a reason, either to keep people in, or others out. If you haven’t noticed it’s a nightmare out there and I am happy to pay extra to be protected from all that “freedom.”
    Yet you are forced by Apple to not have access to any other stores. What happens if you change your mind and decide to want to try an app from somewhere else? 

    You were never formally notified that Apple would limit your access to stores, nor the content on them. You were never formally notified that Apple would shut off NFC for all wallets except it's own.

    Your choice to not use anything else is yours but that doesn't mean other Apple users don't want the choice to use alternatives. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Sorry, but I choose to live in Apple’s “walled garden.” I am not forced to be there and do not need or want to be rescued by those who wrap themselves in the flag of freedom from “Mommy Apple.” Walls exist for a reason, either to keep people in, or others out. If you haven’t noticed it’s a nightmare out there and I am happy to pay extra to be protected from all that “freedom.”

    That is an ignorant way of looking at this issue.

    Even though Apple warns about "security risks" with apps becoming able to be side-loaded, that doesn't mean that your data or privacy hasn't been, or can't be exploited by Apple themselves.

    Most of Apple's products and services have been close-sourced, yet some of them have been still exploited; e.g some users having their Icloud data be accessed by an outside threat actor. 

    Apple's restrictions aren't necessarily always good, it just restricts its users. Developers who wish to develop software on their platform are also affected by the restrictions.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Hopefully the EU government won't accept these ridiculous stipulations by Apple.  App loading should be totally disconnected from any control by Apple whatsoever just like the Mac.  To keep the iOS platform safe the same app notarization system can be implemented on iOS from macOS.  To this day you still do not need your app notarized on macOS even though many developers do.  Gatekeeper is easily bypassed, but only if you know how.  This will protect most users from themselves from installing malware just like it does on the Mac. The heavy handed approach by Apple is about money and control not security.  Their protestation to the contrary takes us for fools.  Open up the iPhone Apple.
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