Although you do not believe it: iOS 17 will support downloading apps to comply with European regulations. This would allow iPhone users download applications and video games hosted on digital storefronts that are not the official Apple App Storesomething Android phones have been able to do for years.
The information was offered Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in its Power On newsletter, according to a report posted on the website of Digital Trends. This feature was criticized for a long time by Apple, but it seems that it has given way.
This change would also mean that developers can bypass Apple’s fees of 15% to 30% of all purchases.
The move will comply with the European Union (EU) Digital Markets Law (DMA) which came into effect on November 1, 2022. This does not affect just Apple, as it requires all “gatekeeper” companies like Google, Meta, and Amazon “open their services and platforms” to third parties.
The impact of the DMA on Apple
The DMA will have a significant impact on Apple’s platform and services. Although no one knows for sure yet, it may affect not only the App Store, but also Messages, FaceTime, Siri and more services.
According to Gurman, Apple appears to be rolling out sideloading support to comply with these regulations next year, so it would make sense as an iOS 17 feature.
Apple has always been a strong opponent against this method of downloading apps, as the company claimed that such a feature “would undermine privacy and security protections” for which the iPhone is known, but if you fail to comply with the DMA, you could be fined up to 20% of your global revenue.
The company may also implement its own security requirements. One of these could be verification, for which Apple could charge a fee instead of getting a cut from app sales and in-app purchases. Apple already has such a verification process on the Mac.