App Sideloading On iPhone Will Be A “Highly Controlled System” As Apple Prepares To Introduce Changes In The First Half Of 2024

With rising pressure from European regulations, Apple might allow users to sideload apps on their iPhones next year. If you are unfamiliar, sideloading refers to downloading apps from outside Apple’s stock App Store, giving users more options while compromising security. Prominent industry analyst Mark Gurman claims that Apple could allow app sideloading in the first half of 2024. This is not the first time we have heard details on the matter, as Apple has legally worked to move away from the decision for the past few years.

Apple to introduce App Sideloading on iPhone as soon as 2024, but the move could compromise user privacy and security

Apple’s walled garden of an ecosystem is about to make a small opening for third-party developers. The company has never allowed apps to be downloaded from third-party sources. In the peak jailbreak era, users used repositories like Cydia to download and install tweaks that played outside of Apple’s rulebook. However, the change is now officially coming to the iPhone as Apple is working to introduce app sideloading next year.

There are two significant downsides for Apple to take care of – the ability to sideload apps without Apple’s guidelines held in place for developers and the company’s right to receive a 15 to 30 percent fee. Since the apps will be downloaded from outside the App Store, developers can easily bypass the fee that Apple takes from purchases. Fortnite could finally arrive on the iPhone even after Apple prevented Epic from publishing the game on the App Store.

However, since it is Apple we are talking about, there are bound to be some mechanisms set in place that will ensure user privacy and security. Gurman writes in his Power On newsletter that the company will introduce a “highly controlled system” for developers to offer apps outside the App Store. Mark Gurman states that the change will occur in the first half of next year. However, a recent report coined that Apple could introduce app sideloading with the launch of iOS 17.2. Currently, iOS 17.2 rests in the beta phase and will likely be released next month.

As mentioned, Apple will set specific parameters for users to download apps outside the App Store. The change is brought forward by the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, allowing gatekeeper companies to open their services to third-party developers and companies. Apple has previously noted that app sideloading could compromise user privacy and security. We will keep you guys updated, so be sure to stick around.

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