Apple will restrict alternative app marketplace updates if you leave the EU for a month

In a recent update to its support page, Apple has introduced a new policy that restricts the updating of apps installed by third-party app stores for iPhones that have been outside the European Union for more than 30 days. While users are allowed to continue using apps from alternative marketplaces during extended travels, the latest app versions should be installed within the EU.

“If you leave the European Union, you can continue to open and use apps that you previously installed from alternative app marketplaces. Alternative app marketplaces can continue updating those apps for up to 30 days after you leave the European Union, and you can continue using alternative app marketplaces to manage previously installed apps. However, you must be in the European Union to install alternative app marketplaces and new apps from alternative app marketplaces,” Apple said in the support page

This update follows the implementation of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which went into effect on Wednesday. Initially, the support page vaguely mentioned that users would “lose access to some features” when leaving the EU for short-term travel. However, Apple has now clarified the policy by introducing a 30-day grace period. This could pose an inconvenience for individuals who frequently travel outside the EU for extended periods.

Despite this update, users are still able to utilize alternative app marketplaces, allowing them to manage apps already installed on their devices. Some developers are gearing up to launch third-party app stores, with notable examples being the enterprise app store Mobivention and MacPaw’s Setapp store. However, Epic Games may face obstacles in launching its planned game store, as Apple has revoked its developer license, citing the company as “verifiably untrustworthy.” This move adds an extra layer of complexity to the landscape of third-party app development and distribution.

Written by Maya Robertson


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