iPhone users don’t care about sideloading apps

Apple CEO Tim Cook this week said that iPhone users don’t care about sideloading. If you want to sideload apps on a smartphone, settle for an Android, Cook said.

Apple's flagship 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max
Apple’s flagship 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max offers storage up to 1 TB

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for ZDNet:

Speaking at The New York Times “DealBook” summit, Cook set out the battle lines:

“I think that people have that choice today, Andrew, if you want to sideload, you can buy an Android phone. That choice exists when you go into the carrier shop. If that is important to you, then you should buy an Android phone. From our point of view, it would be like if I were an automobile manufacturer telling [customers] not to put airbags and seat belts in the car. He would never think about doing this in today’s time. It’s just too risky to do that. And so, it would not be an iPhone if it didn’t maximize security and privacy.”

Sideloading would allow iPhone owners the ability to bypass the Apple App Store and get their apps via a third party.

While I’m all for giving users options, I think Cook is right here.

The App Store offers a safe, convenient one-stop-shop for apps.

But there’s more than that.

The bottom line is that the vast majority of iPhone users won’t care one jot about sideloading.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup. The tiny fraction of iPhoenne jailbreakers tell you all you need to know about how much iPhoen users care about sideloading.

Of course, if Apple goes ahead with their ill-conceived backdoor surveillance scheme, an abject disloyalty to customers who value their privacy and security, the number of iPhone and iPad jailbreakers and the pressure on Apple from users and legislators to allow sideloading will surge significantly.

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29 Comments

  1. Apple is using the cover of “safety” in a questionable way. Why then is it not an issue for Macs? There is a complete lack of consistency.

    And sideloading cannot be compared to jailbreaking nor can the latter be used as a proxy to assess the level of interest. That is a false premise and comparison. The latter is mostly reserved for the technophiles but there are far more users that would use sideloading. One big reason that sideloading is so small is because it is not possible for the average user. So it is a circular and false argument.

    You cannot use the number of “sideloaders” as a measure of demand since the demand is stifled by Apple.

    1. “Sideloading” on a Mac is very different. The security implementations are completely different. How many T2 chips are shipped in iPhon Asking why Apple allows “sideloading” on a Mac and not on an iPhone is a worthless question, and it simply shows you don’t know security architectures.es?

      Jailbreaking an iPhone is quite easy once the jailbreak software is available for a given iPhone and iOS version. It does NOT take a “technophile” to do it. My extremely non tech siblings could do it if they were so inclined. They don’t want to bother as their iPhones do everything they want them to do.

  2. That’s my strong opinion. I never have sideloaded when there’ve been alternatives available to me. My earliest home computers … a PDP 8, an upgraded Radio Shack Color Computer running Unix-like OS9, and an AT&T UNIX PC at most had software that I personally reviewed code on, and that I compiled and linked with my own well-known libraries.

    The first PC in my home, as used by a grandson got bricked from side-loading, as did his first iPhone that I wasted money on and he jail-broke to use the damned Cydia site.

    I hope that this is an Apple policy that won’t be destroyed or be implemented such that I can know that whatever I get from APPLE will continually be vetted even better than currently.

    1. You’re fine until you hit something, then you’d wish you had airbags and seatbelts. What a stupid comment. I’ve never needed to side load and have no interest in doing so. There’s an app that does everything.

  3. How does allowing sideloading affect you? Have you no self-control to not sideload if you don’t want to? Allowing others to sideload does not prevent you from not doing it. And the only way someone else can download something on your iPhone is if you sign them in with your Apple ID.

    Just like on the Mac, Apple could easily implement a Gateway-like solution with permissions control, so no one can arbitrarily install something on your equipment.

    1. “How does allowing sideloading affect you? Have you no self-control to not sideload if you don’t want to?”

      How does DDOS affect you? Have you no self-control to not DDOS if you don’t want to?
      How can hackers affect you? Have you no self-control to not hack if you don’t want to?
      How can someone reading your private communication sent to someone who is sideloading and making your communication visible to third parties affect you? Have you no self-control to not protect your communications at your side if you don’t want to?
      How can someone pretending to be someone you know, scamming you, affect you? Have you no self-control to not scam if you don’t want to?

      I prefer not to share private communication with anyone who is reckless his/her own security and privacy and therefor as well as mines.

      When I was a youngster and joined the army, the girl I met a few weeks before, replied to my e-mail that she does not want to hear from me. I was shocked and confused. A few years later I contacted her again and asked why she was so nasty. I also showed her e-mail and she confirmed it was not sent by her. Apparently someone (probably some schoolmate from a computer class) had hacked her account and ruined our early relationship. Now ask again how did that affect me? I will never know what would have happened if that hack did not happen. Maybe we would be married. Securing only your own device is not enough.

      1. @the guy from eastern europe

        I’m sorry you had a bad experience but you are confounding issues. DDOS and hacking are VERY different than sideloading.

        Also, just because a tool or technique is used for bad doesn’t automatically mean it should be stopped from being used at all.

    2. Because if banks, subscription services like streaming etc can run through their own stores, they will. Then I lose the protections Apple forces upon them that prevent both practices. The bank will track me and sell advertising info, the streaming service will make it harder to cancel a subscription. Etc.

      We all have a choice right now. Closed system or open system. You are asking for my choice to be taken away, in the name of free choice. It is fairer for you to chose the system you prefer and live with it. Not to chose the system you do not like then jump up and down demanding changes.

      I want the lock-in. It doesn’t matter if my reasoning is flawed, ignorant or even delusional. It’s my choice. Why should you deny my freedom, when what you want is freely available elsewhere?

      1. PS- No one is denying you your freedom, as a user. You have choice whether to or not.

        You are however denying freedom from other users with your position.
        Worry about your own device.

        1. I also worry about other devices that I provide for my grandchildren and great grandchildren and spouse. This has been one of the better benefits of Apple; it makes it less likely that one of my devices will be bricked. I found Cydia horrible for such software during my tests back before 2010. Perhaps if alternative stores were required to warranty the hardware that their software was sideloaded from, I’d drop my opposition to the concept.

            1. And my ability to state my preference and to attempt to persuade Apple to carry on not working like Android is absolutely my right. Only assholes will attack me rather than work on their opinion of the actual proposals. Right “Apple BS” or is BS your sole ability.

            2. You deserve to be “attacked”. You promote censorship, at least in this case. Do you want your opinion and no accountability for it? Now that’s BS!

        2. BS by name, BS by nature…
          So you’re going to spend all your time doing all the security heavy lifting done so well by Apple? So you trust everyone you know to do the same thing?
          ……I’ve got this bridge for sale.

      2. @Denis, you make some valid points but there may be alternate ways to achieve the same thing without at least completely restricting sideloading.

        Apple has achieved a great level of consistently on the Mac (though not perfect) without the same restrictions as iOS. So one (sideloading) does not automatically result in the other (a lack of standardization and controls).

        1. Strictly speaking, side loading is possible now. If you are really interested in an App that Apple didn’t approve you can sign up as a developer then someone can send you their code and you can compile it and run it on your devices.

          Actually, for small numbers of users, I believe that developers can let about a hundred people try their app without going through the App Store. Not sure how this works exactly but I’ve seen some messages about this in Xcode.

          This is OK for me. The people that really want to have access to other apps have a way to do so. The rest of us are protected.

          The iPhone/iPad are different than a Mac. There are over a billion of these in use by all sorts of people who don’t have the skills to decide what is safe or not.

          Also, if they allowed side-loading you know the cheapo companies and banks and whatnot would create some cheesy app and then force you to side-load in order to do something at your bank, credit union, company, school system, etc.

          Also, there would be scams telling you to download some app in order to unlock a free debit card.

          My company already alerted us to a similar scam. A package arrives in an Amazon box. Inside is a debit card and a USB drive. A note says this is a thank you gift from xxxx and you should plug the USB drive into your computer to get the code to unlock the gift card.

          Needless to say, the gift card is fake and as soon as you plug in the USB drive you get a load of malware installed.

  4. So I suppose you would all support a guitar maker selling a guitar and dictating what kind of songs it’s allowed to play. You know, to keep bad musicians at bay and not have them ruin their reputation.

  5. It’s really sad to see people eager to give their freedom away. Freedom is by far the most important right we have, but too many people see little value on it. “Behavior X is too risky. No one should be able to do that!”

    “It’s My Device” should be the end of the discussion.

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