While Android users have been able to sideload apps from third-party sources other than the Play Store for years now, Apple has long been against it saying it could expose iOS users to various security risks. However, the tech giant seems to be getting ready to bring the ability to European users with the launch of iOS 17 this year.
According to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, where he talks about the features and product launches that Apple is expected to announce at its upcoming WWDC 2023 event that will take place in June, the company is laying the groundwork for sideloading in order to comply with the new EU requirements, better known as the Digital Markets Act, with which technology companies will be required to comply by March 2024.
‘’iOS 17 will cause some noise beyond WWDC itself,’’ Gurman wrote in his report. ‘’Apple is working to overhaul the software to open up the iPhone to sideloading — the downloading of apps outside of its official store — to comply with new European regulations by next year.’’
In fact, the tech reporter already talked about Apple’s plans to comply with the new EU requirements back in December, however, as the release date for iOS 17 and the deadline set by the European Commission get closer, more details and rumors are rising to the surface.
Since the new rules will impact Apple’s operations in the European region only, the company is not expected to bring the ability of sideloading to users in other markets. As a result, Europeans will likely have a significantly different experience compared to those in other countries.