Apple may allow iPhone, iPad users to sideload apps, along with third-party app stores on its devices- Technology News, Firstpost
Mehul Reuben DasDecember 14, 2022 10:22:45 IST
Apple has controlled the iOS ecosystem with a tight fist since the concept of iPhones and an App Store where users could download and install apps existed. For years, Apple argued that its iron fist over the software ecosystem of the iPhone and the iPad kept Apple’s mobile devices far more secure than their Android or Windows counterparts. Now, that’s about to change.
Apple has always maintained that tenet the Apple ecosystem locked away from other, unverified applications is crucial for the Cupertino-based tech giant, to ensure the safety of their customers against malicious app developers. The company has always said that this so-called “walled garden” approach was necessary to help users have a good experience, protect against viruses and malware, and preserve user privacy.
Steve Jobs himself advocated this strategy and had to be convinced to bring an App Store to the iPhone. He believed that people who use Apple products should be satisfied with the apps that come by default on iPhones and iPads.
The European Union recently introduced a new piece of legislation called the Digital Markets Act. Although the law was framed in a way that allowed fair play among all app developers, it was primarily aimed at Apple, Google and Meta for their monopolistic control over developers. Apple in particular, and Apple’s monopoly among iPhone users, was what the bill actually targeted.
Apple is reportedly making plans to comply with the new laws, according to a new Bloomberg report. Changes may come as soon as the iOS 17 update, which is expected to launch in September 2023.
What all this basically means is that regular users will be able to download apps or install apps from sources other than the App Store. This is currently not possible without jailbreaking or gaining access to the root of a particular device. Doing so not only voids any warranty that Apple provided on a new device, but in many countries, rooting an Apple device isn’t exactly legal.
Apple has long maintained that allowing users to sideload apps would undermine iOS’s security and leave users exposed. Opponents of Apple, meanwhile, have argued that the security risks are minimal compared to the benefits brought by increased competition in the App Store and more user choice.
Apple is also considering allowing other app ecosystems on the platform and may allow app stores other than the official App Store.
Both sideloading and the existence of another app store would allow developers to bypass the 30 percent commission that Apple charges developers for apps that generate more than $1 million a year in revenue. Elon Musk called it the secret “Apple Tax”. when he briefly attacked Apple and Tim Cook for their policies towards social media platforms.