As the Apple Wideworld Developers Conference approaches, the rumors keep coming. In a Power On weekend newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said that iOS 17 will support app downloads in accordance with European regulations. This will allow iPhone users to download apps and games offered on digital storefronts that aren't Apple's official App Store – something Android phones have been able to do for years.
With the ability to download unpublished apps, customers do not need to use the Apple App Store to download and purchase apps or make in-app purchases. The change also means developers can take a 15-30% discount on Apple's commission on all purchases.
This change will be in line with the EU Digital Market Act (DMA), which will enter into force on 1 November 2022. This is not limited to Apple, as all gatekeepers require companies to "open up their services and platforms." to the third layer. - third party companies and developers. This includes other major tech companies like Google, Meta, Amazon and more.
DMA will have a significant impact on Apple platforms and services. Although no one knows for sure, this applies not only to the App Store, but also to Messages, FaceTime, Siri and other Apple services. Next year, Apple is rolling out sideload support in line with those guidelines, Gurman said, so it makes sense as an iOS 17 feature.
Apple has always been a vocal opponent of sideloading, as the company claims the feature would undermine "the privacy and security protections" iPhones are known for, leaving them vulnerable to malware, fraud, data tracking and more. make it more sensitive to . But if Apple doesn't comply with the DMA, Apple could be fined up to 20% of global revenue.
While Apple allows unpublished downloads in iOS 17, it can also enforce its own security requirements. One is to confirm that Apple can charge a commission instead of a discount on app sales and in-app purchases. This is not entirely unusual, as Apple already has this kind of verification process on the Mac.
While these changes give users more options, we believe that most people will continue to use the App Store. I myself am skeptical about potential security issues and like the 3% cashback I get with the Apple Card. However, if this change happens, as rumored, it could be one of the biggest changes to iOS in years.