Apple is rumoured to redesign its iOS and iPadOS to third party app stores. Here are all the details.
iPhones and iPads have long restricted their users to the App Store for all app and games downloads. However, this could be changing soon with the new EU regulations, probably with iOS 17. The iPhone and iPad could get to see a third-party app store other than Apple’s own App Store soon. No official confirmation on this decision comes yet but leaks suggest this could initially be available to the 27 countries initially following the EU regulations and may expand to other regions.
In a recent tweet, Mark Gurman sharing one his stories for Bloomberg says, “Apple is preparing to allow alternative app stores and side-loading on iOS — along with a slew of other changes to make the iPhone more open — in response to new European Union requirements arriving in 2024.
Apple to allow other app stores on iOS, iPadOS
The changes are coming to iPhones and iPads as part of the Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act bills. The new law will allow developers to promote fair competition and better privacy protection all the while removing some invasive targeted advertising.
The change is expected to be applied in the 27 countries that are part of the European Union and could go a long way in allowing more competition on iOS across other regions. Gurman says that the updated policies could come with iOS 17 in 2023 and could change the Apple ecosystem in a big way.
As part of the policies, it is said that iOS and iPadOS will allow more access to device features such as NFC chip, camera, Find My Network, AirTag and even the browsing engines on both iPhones and iPads.
Apple, however, is figuring out ways to earn from third-party app stores as well Gruman says that the Cupertino firm could charge developers even if they don’t distribute via the Apple App Store.
A separate set of EU regulations is also forcing Apple to adopt USB-C ports on iPhones and all accessories. The EU has mandated a law starting 2024, wherein all mobile devices sold in the region need to have a USB-C port as the standard port for charging and data transfer.