Apple to allow Outside App Stores in overhaul spurred by EU Laws

Apple’s stance on third-party apps has long been preventing them from being installed on mobile devices unless it was through their official App Store. However, with new European Union regulations, Apple is now changing its services to allow for outside app stores.

Mark Gurman, a Bloomberg reporter, states that Apple is changing its platform drastically to enable “alternative” app stores based on feedback from the company’s software engineering and services teams.

If this goes into effect, it would allow customers to download applications to their iPhone or iPad from sources other than Apple’s App Store (which takes a 30% commission). This new policy shift for Apple’s App Store comes as the company tries to Adjust to recent EU laws.

The DMA (Digital Markets Act) was passed in September and tries to create a more balanced marketplace for third-party developers against large companies. In addition, it improves the ability to transfer data between services.

If these proposed regulations go into effect, tech companies will have to allow third-party app stores and force message services to work together. The latter is something that Google has been trying unsuccessfully to get Apple to do for months now.

Apple is reluctantly complying with the EU law, but it has consistently argued that allowing the sideloading of apps outside of the App Store could create security vulnerabilities and privacy concerns. Consequently, some of the engineering choices may involve making security demands that would still necessitate Apple’s permission.

In case you don’t remember, Epic Games and Apple were in a legal battle not too long ago. Epic was trying to bypass the 30% fee in Fortnite, but instead, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store entirely. Although Apple won Epic’s lawsuit in the end, it did result in an interesting parody of Apple’s “1984” ad using Fornite characters.

If the Digital Markets Act passes, it’s possible that Apple will have to allow other browsers (like Chrome) to use Safari’s WebKit rendering engine. In addition, NFC chips and private APIs could be made accessible to third-party developers.

These changes would only take effect in EU countries. Other markets, including the United States, would still be stuck using Apple’s App Store. A law similar to the DMA would have to pass by bodies like Congress before anything could change.

The EU’s new regulations are a major shakeup for the tech industry, and Apple is one of the few companies that will be significantly affected by it. It remains to be seen whether or not these changes will remain in effect or be challenged by other companies. Either way, it’s definitely an interesting development to keep an eye on in the coming months.

It will be interesting to see how this impacts Apple and its App Store policies moving forward. With these changes, the EU hopes to create a more competitive market for tech companies and developers alike, which is ultimately a win for everyone involved. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how everything plays out.

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