Bloomberg News’ Mark Gurman believe that Apple may not even mention app sideloading for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV at WWDC, as the company will likely limit the feature to regions that require it by law.
“I think it will be a Europe-only feature,” Gurman said. “I think that they’re not going to shoot themselves in the foot and expand this globally if they don’t have to.”
“They’re not gonna do anything extraneous that would further hurt their grip on the App Store,” he continued. “They’re really going to stick to the letter of the law here.”
Gurman believes that Apple may charge developers to be part of the sideloading program, using a process based on configuration profiles. The company may also have a review process for these apps, even though they would be installed outside of the App Store.
Europe approved the Digital Markets Act rules in July 2022, and they entered into force in November. The rules will be applicable starting on May 2, 2023.
MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like a good way to get laws passed, Apple.
Bring ’em on! The company is not “shoot[ing] themselves in the foot.” It’s a win-win for both iPhone/iPad users and Apple.
Those who want safety, security, and privacy will stick to Apple’s App Store, but a single point of control is always a danger, especially when it comes to capricious censorship (see: pre-Musk Twitter, Apple’s App Store in China, etc.).
iPhone and iPad users must, like Mac users, have the ability to install third-party apps; even if they never do, for it will keep Apple honest. The ability to ban an app loses all power when it’s simply available in another App Store.
These moves, including removing the mandate to use WebKit, Apple’s Safari browsing engine, in third-party browsers, as Gurman also reports Apple is considering, will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the threat of anti-trust actions against Apple for the foreseeable future.
Adding the ability to access third-party app stores for iPhone and iPad also removes a selling point for Android phones and tablets, a crucial selling point for some, that is likely to result in further acceleration of Android to iPhone upgraders. So, third-party app stores for iPhone and iPad won’t hurt Apple too much. In fact, it might even benefit Apple. – MacDailyNews, December 14, 2022
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