Apple would be forced to allow sideloading and third-party app stores under new EU law

According to EU regulations recently published, Apple would be required to allow customers to install programmes from sources other than the App Store. This clause was included in the initial plan for the EU’s broad Digital Markets Act, or DMA, which moved one step closer to becoming legislation this week, and an EU spokeswoman verified that it is still in place.

This independence includes the ability to download programmes from different sources on your smartphone. With the DMA, smartphone owners will be able to continue to use the default app store’s safe and secure services on their devices. Furthermore, if a user so desires, the DMA will let a smartphone owner to use other secure app stores.

Apple would be required to allow customers to install programmes from third-party sources (a technique known as sideloading) and allow developers to utilize the App Store without utilizing Apple’s payment mechanisms, in addition to permitting third-party stores on its platform.

The DMA has yet to be voted into law by the European Parliament, but it is expected to pass with little difficulty. That means the DMA might go into effect as soon as October of this year. The EU’s member states will subsequently be entitled to choose how to interpret the EU directive into national legislation.

Although customers of the Mac have long been able to download software from sources other than Apple’s official store, Apple has maintained that this strategy isn’t acceptable for iPhones because they contain more sensitive data.

Despite this, there is a slew of options for customers who are dedicated enough to sideload programmes onto their iPhones. Apple’s own enterprise app programme allows businesses to load on custom programmes, and AltStore installs a whole third-party app store on an iPhone. TestFlight is also frequently used by developers to distribute programmes that haven’t been fully approved for the App Store.

The EU believes that Apple’s security concerns may be alleviated by giving customers control over their devices’ settings and allowing them to choose where they’re comfortable installing apps from. Similar toggles are already available on Android, which must be turned off manually in order to get software from third-party sources.

When contacted for response, Apple stated that “certain aspects of the DMA will create additional privacy and security vulnerabilities for our consumers, while others will prevent us from charging for intellectual property in which we have invested a significant amount of time and money.”