A noted Apple critic used the terms “malicious compliance” and “hot garbage” to describe the elaborate rules the company laid down Thursday for allowing European iPhone users to sideload applications.
Those blasts came from Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, a company that’s locked in a legal battle with Apple over App Store rules. But other devs also cast aspersions on Apple’s framework for setting up App Store rivals. They pointed out that the new system comes with a huge financial obligation, and that it will make free apps almost impossible.
To be clear, though, not all developers are unhappy. Apple’s new rules also drew some compliments.
Apple is bringing sideloading and alternate app stores to the iPhone — but with significant restrictions.
Apple gave EU developers guidelines and access to the tools needed for sideloading — installing applications that don’t go through the App Store. But the new rules require these apps to be approved by Apple before they can be installed by iPhone users. And they need to be in alternative marketplaces, not directly available for download.
In other words, sideloading won’t be the free-for-all some people had hoped.
This is part of sweeping changes to iOS, Safari and the App Store required by the European Union’s Digital Markets Act. And Apple’s announcement of these changes in Thursday is loaded with warning about how sideloading brings risks for users.
Now that iOS and the App Store have been labeled “gatekeepers” by the European Commission, the EU’s Digital Markets Act requires Apple to allow users to install applications directly onto iPhones. And sideloading is just one of the sweeping changes resulting from the DMA. Users apparently will be able to replace Siri with one of its rivals, for example. Other services, like iMessage, might require modification later.
One thing’s clear: The iPhone won’t be the same after the Digital Markets Act goes into effect in spring 2024.
Apple has launched a major project to allow alternative app stores on iPhones and iPads by 2024. The effort is meant to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which comes fully into force then, and other possible national or regional laws that will make Apple allow sideloading of apps, according to new report Tuesday.
The end result should see Apple allowing people to download third-party software to iPhones and iPads from somewhere other than the App Store for the first time.
This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Apple’s electric self-driving car project apparently just landed a bigwig from Lamborghini. Does this mean the hiding-in-plain-sight Apple car is back on track?
Also on The CultCast:
Why we didn’t see an M1 Mac Pro — and why we never will.
Saudi Arabia’s crazy glass building sounds unbelievable.
Anker makes GaN charging even faster and more efficient.
The EU’s new Digital Markets Act could bring big changes for Apple and the App Store.
Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.
The European Union may force Apple to make big changes to its App Store as well as services like FaceTime and Messages, if a leaked version of an EU antitrust proposal becomes law.
The draft is said to be the “final version” of the Digital Markets Act, provisionally approved by EU regulators in March. It seeks to restrict how tech giants operate in order to foster greater competition.
The European Union plans to break down the barriers between mobile messaging services. With its Digital Markets Act, it plans to force services like iMessage, WhatsApp, and smaller messaging platforms to play nicely together.
The move would be a major blow to Apple, which has long used iMessage — which it refuses to bring to Android — as a big selling point of iPhone.