Category: Apple|Apr 21, 2024 | Author: Admin

Apple sidles into sideloading in the EU

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EU users get ready for multiple app stores

While Apple didn’t rush to embrace sideloading, developers can get ready for it in the EU, as support for this is now live in the latest iOS 17.5 beta.


This is the first big improvement Apple has made to its originally stated plans to bring its business in line with Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). Web Distribution lets authorized developers distribute their iOS apps to users in the European Union (EU) directly from a website owned by the developer.


Apple announced its initial approach to DMA compliance in March, spoke in Europe about its plans a little later, and received lots of feedback, which it is now acting on. Europe has also begun looking into its compliance with the DMA, suggesting Apple’s tweaks reflect the company’s ongoing dialog with EU regulators.

The basic idea is that developers can choose to offer their own apps to customers through their websites, though they must agree to various checks and must also handle customer support, tech support, taxation, and more. In some cases, a fee may be payable. But users will want to know how the change will impact them.


What is the user experience?

Customers have become accustomed to the App Store, so it seems likely most people will want to keep using it. However, as developers peel away from the App Store, it’s possible some important apps will become solely available via independent portals, including developer websites. We must wait and see the extent to which this will complicate the user experience and dilute platform integrity.


But, when it comes to web distribution, we can at least see how the system works by considering the customer journey Apple has described. That journey is far from being the miserable experience some of the company’s big-mouthed critics have said it is; it has been designed to inform and protect customers, as I see it.


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