Senate Judiciary advances bill that would force Apple to allow iOS side-loading

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 48
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,133member
    Unfortunately most developers that can will yank their apps from the AppStore. We will lose not only access to FB and Fortnight, but Creative Cloud, Office365, and other essential apps. We will be FORCED to go to outside, insecure,  stores to get the apps we need. It’s all fine and good to say that those that want to look elsewhere can while the rest of us will stay in the walled garden. In reality we will all have to look elsewhere or we will nor be able to do much with our devices. 
    edited February 3
  • Reply 22 of 48
    rob53 said:
    The sad thing about members of Congress is that there's no requirement for having a functioning brain. If you're elected, you serve. 
    Actually, I would say fundamentally that’s a good thing. The US government is supposed to be run by ‘the people’, ordinary people.

    Though there’s still ignorance. The implication here is that Apple’s devices and ecosystem are essentially a public service by itself. To me this is ignorance because there are competitors with equal and unhindered access to the overall market (i.e. Samsung’s phone division isn’t stifled by Apple not allowing side-loading, and any Apple user can switch to a Samsung device without hinderance).

    The issue with government now is most politicians live in a different world—remember Pelosi early in the lockdowns talking about having to stock up on her expensive boutique ice cream kept in her multi-thousand dollar freezers while the population are standing in food bank lines? Most politicians are disconnected from the lives of ‘the people’.

    In this Apple case, the politicians are listening to complainers and lobbyists. How many users are complaining they can’t sideload apps? How many users are complaining they can’t share their financial info with yet another company? Most of the people complaining are a tiny subset of developers and also Apple’s competition, who both are doing it for their own gain—not for the gain of consumers.
    edited February 3 maximara
  • Reply 23 of 48
    WRITE TO YOUR SENATORS!!! Feel free to copy and paste this:

    Dear Senator NAME,

    I'm writing to express my vehement opposition to the Open Markets Act that just advanced out of the Judiciary committee. I expect your support in voting no on this legislative insanity. I have freedom of choice now. If I want an open OS that allows the downloading of apps from anyone who cares to post them, I can choose Android. But I choose to be in the Apple iOS ecosystem specifically because it is closed and controlled by Apple in a way that offers maximum protection from malware and hackers. Opening iOS to the side-loading of apps totally undermines that protection, and the only choice I am left with is to open myself up to the malware and hacking that is rampant in Android. 

    It is honestly embarrassing to hear Senators talk about technology in the way that they do, exposing their massive tech illiteracy to anyone who actually knows something about tech. This choice-destroying "Open Markets Act" proves again that the Senate is ill-equipped to legislate for the 21st century. 

    Sincerely,
    YOUR NAME

    bloggerblog
  • Reply 24 of 48
    bluefire1 said:
    Can’t the government just leave Apple alone. The company flourishes best without outside meddling. 
    It's an election year.  Increase the odd Congress will do something mind numbingly stupid.  The only thing I can hope is is somehow hurts the people wanted the Apple store opened more than it hurt Apple.
    edited February 3 killroy
  • Reply 25 of 48
    What a ridiculous involvement in a company's strategy to enhance privacy and security.

    Absolute idiots. This should be challenged in court.
    killroyjony0
  • Reply 26 of 48
    The government has nothing better to do than try to make all iPhones less secure. I swear these public servants sometimes make me so angry. What is there problem why do they try to change Apple’s business by trying to make them less secure. 
    killroy
  • Reply 27 of 48
    lkrupp said:
    Suggestion to Apple: Get ahead of this massive security problem. If anyone can side load any app they want onto their iOS device, that puts every other app at risk from data theft and other hacks. To get around this start working right now on an alternative version of iOS that users can install if they want to, much like the beta profiles you have  now. The alternative side loading open iOS has no Apple App Store. It has no access to iCloud, CloudKit or any other technology that could become compromised by apps that have not been through the app review process. Most iOS users (myself included) will opt for the secure version of iOS for their primary devices. For older, otherwise unused devices, the alternative open but unsecure iOS will be a lot of fun to play with. Think of it as another form of recycling. The open iOS does no not need to be updated as often as the main secure version because (duh) it's not secure.
    Apple could let user choose to side-load in a settings option. Just like ATT. Google Android has been doing like this since the beginning of Android. And we have not heard any Android user hurt or complain about this. 
    Then those of you who want to force side loading on Apple should move to Android and be happy. But no, you want to decide how Apple runs its business. Why?
    And the crazyest thing is, that everyone is forcing Apple for iOS side loading except the Apple’s users!
    What for an absurd is this?!
    edited February 3 killroyjony0
  • Reply 28 of 48
    Is this how they think they are shoring us that they are tackling important things?  They can’t pass an infrastructure bill, that most people feel is needed, but they decide to fill it with pork to make the other side look bad when they vote against.  So, attacking a company for keeping a safer smartphone OS, developed here?  Real geniuses there
    killroy
  • Reply 29 of 48
    Suggestion to Apple: Get ahead of this massive security problem. If anyone can side load any app they want onto their iOS device, that puts every other app at risk from data theft and other hacks. To get around this start working right now on an alternative version of iOS that users can install if they want to, much like the beta profiles you have  now. The alternative side loading open iOS has no Apple App Store. It has no access to iCloud, CloudKit or any other technology that could become compromised by apps that have not been through the app review process. Most iOS users (myself included) will opt for the secure version of iOS for their primary devices. For older, otherwise unused devices, the alternative open but unsecure iOS will be a lot of fun to play with. Think of it as another form of recycling. The open iOS does no not need to be updated as often as the main secure version because (duh) it's not secure.
    The problem with this approach is all you need is a few trending companies to pull together and provide their services through side loading only and you'll have an AppStore that's as useless as macOS's AppStore. All they have to do is take Facebook, WhatsApp, Netflix, HBO, Snapchat to side loading and it's all over. These companies don't want nutrition labels either.
  • Reply 30 of 48
    kmareikmarei Posts: 106member
    Turn on side loading but have a prompt come up that if you side load an app, your warranty/apple care will be void/cancelled
    and have the iOS send a message to apple to black list this device

    you wanna run your own software on the iPhone, sure go ahead
    but don't expect apple to foot the bill when your home made app damages the phone
    that sounds fair 



    killroy
  • Reply 31 of 48
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,512moderator
    This is easy.  Apple licenses iOS to each iPhone/iPad owner.  We don’t own the operating system. So do something similar to what Google had done with its android partners.  You want your own App Store, you don’t get Google maps and other Google services.  

    Only, in this case Apple would say, here’s a version of iOS you can install and run your side-apps on.  It doesn’t include many of the APIs or interfaces needed to do anything significant on the device.  You can’t access the microphone, the speaker, WiFi, cellular.  It doesn’t have the tools you need to do much of anything, because all those software development libraries are not owned by the device owners.  So if you want to write apps that don’t go through the Apple official App Store, write your own APIs, and watch out for copyright lawsuits from Apple while you’re at it.  
    edited February 3 killroyjony0
  • Reply 32 of 48
    Everyone here panicking about side loaded apps infiltrating their phones. Uh, just don’t install anything from outside the App Store (just as has been done with the Cydia store for a decade). These straw man arguments are pathetic.
    darkvader
  • Reply 33 of 48
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,002member
    In the bill (https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/2710/text?r=23&s=1) the section on third party app stores begins with:

    A Covered Company that controls the operating system or operating system configuration on which its App Store operates shall allow and provide the readily accessible means for users of that operating system to—

    And that proves what I've been saying for years, that Congress can't force any company to have an app store. Notice the words that I bolded. If Apple gets rid of its app store then nothing in this bill would apply. This bill (at least its section on app stores) explicitly applies only to devices that have an App Store.
  • Reply 34 of 48
    rob53 said:
    I don't care about Android especially because nobody really comments on all the issues Android has. Google could care less, especially since their only reason for being in business is to steal user information to sell ads. 

    IF Apple is forced to provide side-loading, as @OutdoorAppDeveloper states, Apple would have to provide and install the api's necessary to use side-loading. Once the capability is there, a good developer/hacker can easily exploit it even if the user has turned it off. It might be as simple as installing a common, free app that everyone uses (Facebook???) and the install changes the side-loading setting after a few uses (so the App Store testers don't catch it fight off). I'm not a developer but I'm sure this could easily be configured, just like the official Olympic app that forces certain monitoring of athletes. There's no other option for the athletes. That's why I used the US government as an example. Submit your taxes via the IRS app and the FBI/NSA force the side-loading setting to be turned on then immediately include a backdoor. This isn't from a movie, it's common sense. If you don't think the FBI/NSA can already break into almost every version of Android you're in denial. 
    This is a really hot take - to suggest that an app in the Apple App Store (Facebook) would be able to change a hypothetical OS-level setting to enable side-loading without the user's consent or knowledge. I hate FB as much as anyone, but surely you know this would not happen. During the review process, each API call required by the app is audited directly from its source code and the manifest is verified against the developer's api entitlement list. So if those API's were being used and abused, Apple would have no excuse for it going uncaught, given how highly they tout the security of their App Store platform. If it did go uncaught, security researchers would find it quite quickly, given a simple import table dump of the app binary would expose the api call.

    Now let's talk about that Olympics Bubble app. That app IS in the App Store. It DID go through Apple's review process. And Apple approved it!!(!?!?!?) Now, even with the public awareness about its spyware characteristics, it's STILL in the Apple App Store. All the while, Apple tells us that apps in their store are secure and we can feel safe about them. The Olympics app is nothing but the latest example of how hypocritical that stance is.

    And no, is it not common sense to think that the FBI would attempt to install a backdoor via an App Store-provided app like an IRS Taxes app. For the same reasons as w/ the Facebook example, an App Store app would not be able to just flip random OS switches, and if they did slip through, security researchers would find it rather quickly - come to think of it, just like they did with the Olympics app. Go figure!

    So are we done fear mongering now? If you don't want to sideload, then don't. Nothing you install inside of the walled garden is going to be able to force side loading on you against your will.
    muthuk_vanalingamkillroy
  • Reply 35 of 48
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,922member
    jungmark said:
    Terrible idea. Who gets the blame if your device gets bricked or all your information is stolen? 
    Apple who fought against side loading rather than built in support and protection for it?
    It sounds easy on paper but who is to say third party app stores will follow the rules and apps on those stores will follow the rules? Does Apple need to vet all these sites and their apps too? 
  • Reply 36 of 48
    I agree that sideloading is dangerous, not because of the inherent risk of having non-verified code, which is manageable on the same way as on iOS. The risk here, is others have said, is that companies like Facebook can delete their App Store versions of apps, and therefore have none of the privacy enhancing features that apple has spent the last decade fighting for. No nutrition labels, no limits on tracking.

     But, I do also see the need to put some limits on the power they wield on the market. We live in a world where giant companies have ALL the profits and all of the control over what we see and do, and these is some innovation stifling. 
    Apple are now as powerful as a government, which, whilst they are benevolent, is ok, but the precedence this sets for others needs addressing. 

    The fact that the gaming ain’t companies won’t be subject to the same rules, however… that is unjust!
  • Reply 37 of 48
    Everyone here panicking about side loaded apps infiltrating their phones. Uh, just don’t install anything from outside the App Store (just as has been done with the Cydia store for a decade). These straw man arguments are pathetic.
    Your argument is idiotic. Users who never sued-load an App can still have their privacy/security reduced. Seriously, do you know a fucking thing about software?
    RudeBoyRudy
  • Reply 38 of 48
    jungmark said:
    jungmark said:
    Terrible idea. Who gets the blame if your device gets bricked or all your information is stolen? 
    Apple who fought against side loading rather than built in support and protection for it?
    It sounds easy on paper but who is to say third party app stores will follow the rules and apps on those stores will follow the rules? Does Apple need to vet all these sites and their apps too? 

    They won’t have to follow any rules, other than those that are part of the operating system (iOS). Like Apps not being allowed to access storage outside their sandbox or trying to access iMessage.

    However, a lot of things Apple checks for have nothing to do with APIs or iOS restrictions. For example, does your App contain pornography? Does it pass your personal details to other 3rd parties to monetize your data? Does it allow you to enter a credit card number for payments and then use that number later to commit fraud?

    Even if an App is playing by the rules of the APIs and iOS it can still do a lot of other shady stuff 
  • Reply 39 of 48
    DAalseth said:
    Unfortunately most developers that can will yank their apps from the AppStore. We will lose not only access to FB and Fortnight, but Creative Cloud, Office365, and other essential apps. We will be FORCED to go to outside, insecure,  stores to get the apps we need. It’s all fine and good to say that those that want to look elsewhere can while the rest of us will stay in the walled garden. In reality we will all have to look elsewhere or we will nor be able to do much with our devices. 
    You are making this statement DESPITE evidence contrary to what you have mentioned has already existed for YEARs. In Android world, the ability to side load Apps has existed from the beginning for more than 10 years. Despite that, Epic did not pull their games like Fortnite from Google Play Store. Can you guess WHY? If you seek answer to that question, you WILL know the reality of this situation. 
    darkvader
  • Reply 40 of 48

    They won’t have to follow any rules, other than those that are part of the operating system (iOS). Like Apps not being allowed to access storage outside their sandbox or trying to access iMessage.

    However, a lot of things Apple checks for have nothing to do with APIs or iOS restrictions. For example, does your App contain pornography? Does it pass your personal details to other 3rd parties to monetize your data? Does it allow you to enter a credit card number for payments and then use that number later to commit fraud?

    Even if an App is playing by the rules of the APIs and iOS it can still do a lot of other shady stuff 

    So, just because a sideloaded app would have pornographic content, it's shady? Please.  BTW, sideloaded apps would still be sandboxed, and there will be no way to get around that since it's enforced at the OS.

    I agree that sideloading is dangerous, not because of the inherent risk of having non-verified code, which is manageable on the same way as on iOS. The risk here, is others have said, is that companies like Facebook can delete their App Store versions of apps, and therefore have none of the privacy enhancing features that apple has spent the last decade fighting for. No nutrition labels, no limits on tracking.

    The bill is about giving everyone choice - for app makers to choose how their apps are distributed, and for device owners to have full control over what software they can install on their personally owned property, and from where they get that software. And just like Facebook could choose to remove their app from the App Store, you could then choose not to install their hypothetical sideloadable replacement. If you choose to stick with the App Store, great. But a device's owner should be the only and ultimate gatekeeper over what apps are installed - not Apple.
    darkvader
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