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EU users will soon be able to download iOS apps from the web

EU users will soon be able to download iOS apps from the web

In January, Apple introduced upcoming changes to iOS and the App Store to comply with so-called gatekeeping rules under the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA). To enable installation of apps from sources other than the App Store, with iOS 17.4 Apple has now made it possible to install alternative app stores and allow developers to develop and operate these stores.

But that's not enough there, reports TechCrunch. Whether this was due to pressure from the EU or whether Apple had planned this all along is unknown, but the company has now provided other upcoming news. In an upcoming update “later this spring,” Apple will open up the system further, allowing users to download and install apps directly from developer sites.

Apple is finalizing a new API for this purpose, and the rules around “notarization” for apps published on developer sites apply just as they do across third-party stores. iOS will only allow installation of apps that have been registered by their developers, from servers located in the specified domains. To complete the installation, users must open Settings and agree. The system will then display information about the application.

Meanwhile, Apple is also changing the base for alternative app stores. In the original rules, they had to accept applications from other developers, but the company has now removed this requirement.

Developers who want to exploit new opportunities for freer distribution in the EU must sign an alternative developer agreement that requires them, among other things, to respond quickly to communications from Apple on topics such as fraud, malicious code and illegal behavior. Developers must also pledge to comply with other EU legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Digital Services Act (DSA).

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