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Apple to charge developers for allowing users to sideload apps

Apple is working on ways to allow iOS users to sideload apps in the European Union in compliance with the Digital Markets Act.

Edited By: Pranav Sawant

Published: Jan 25, 2024, 11:24 AM IST

Apple App Store
Apple App Store

Story Highlights

  • Apple will soon allow sideloading of apps on iOS.
  • A new report reveals that allowing for sideloading may require developers to pay a fee.
  • Sideloading will only be offered in the European Union.

Apple will be following the norms set by the European Union (EU) and will finally offer sideloading on iOS. We are expected to see the change happening in the coming months. However, Apple appears to have a plan of its own when it comes to sideloading apps on the platform. Yes, you will be able to sideload apps on your iPhone, however, developers may have to pay extra for users to do that.

Want to sideload apps on iPhone? Pay more

A new report from the Wall Street Journal notes that the Apple App Store has planned to collect fees from developers that offer downloads outside of the App Store. Notably, users who try to download apps outside of the App Store may get a review screen. This will probably be to keep the iOS users safe from malicious apps, which will be a concern once sideloading is allowed.

One thing to note is that the sideloading of apps will only be offered to iOS users in the European Union as Apple needs to comply with the Digital Markets Act. Everywhere else, users will likely have to stick to the App Store.

Apple’s App Store is safer for iOS devices as apps go through thorough checks and also there’s a fee to list apps on the store. Now, for developers to allow for sideloading in the region, they may have to pay an additional fee, if we go by the report. That will be costly for developers. We just hope, developers don’t try to balance it out by charging customers extra for their paid apps.

While Apple has agreed to allow for sideloading starting iOS 17, it hasn’t given a plan on how it will work. We are expected to get an announcement about the same from the giant in the coming months. Officially, the EU’s Digital Markets Act will go into effect on March 7, so Apple will have to act quickly.

On the Android side of things, users can easily sideload apps. They can download apps from the browser and also from a separate app store, ditching the Play Store. For the same reason, some manufacturers, have their own app stores like Samsung Galaxy Store and Xiaomi’s Mi Store.

However, sideloading of apps can jeopardize your device if done through unknown and risky websites. By default, Android doesn’t allow the installation of apps from third-party sources as a security measure. But users can change that and still install apps from anywhere on the web.

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Author Name | Pranav Sawant

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