Important changes are coming to Apple’s operating system. iOS 17 has brought numerous new features but in a few months we will have what is probably the most significant change in iOS in years. As noted by 9to5Mac, the iOS 17.2 beta incorporates some signs that Apple is preparing to accept installing applications from outside the App Store. A change that also already has a date, as explained by the renowned journalist specialized in Apple, Mark Gurman, from his newsletter.
It is coming for the first half of 2024. It is the date that, according to the sources consulted by Gurman, Apple plans to apply this major change. At the beginning of next year, iOS will allow you to install applications beyond the App Store.
The change is not coincidental, as it comes as a result of the new Digital Markets Law (DMA) of the European Union. A regulation that has already come into action and where selected large technology companies have until March 2024 to adapt or risk being fined.
At your own risk. In 2021, Tim Cook compared this practice to driving in a car without an airbag or seat belt. A hyperbole that made the company’s position clear. For Apple, installing applications outside the App Store poses a risk to user security.
However, due to European Union regulations, it will allow it to be done, as is already the case on Android. Where historically it has always been allowed but Google also has a similar position.
Apple will allow sideloading, but with many caveats. Gurman points out that allowing the installation of third-party apps will be possible but that it will be implemented as a “highly controlled system”, where users will receive a warning message about the dangers and responsibilities of installing an application outside the App Store.
Apple will comply (and appeal) EU regulation. These changes assume that Apple will comply with the DMA. It is unclear whether sideloading will also be allowed for users outside of Europe, where Apple is not required to allow it.
Other changes expected in iOS are changes to iMessage and NFC payments. However, Apple has already explained that it plans to prepare an appeal against the Digital Markets Act.
Important changes are coming for iOS. Some that have been discussed for years, but that Apple seems to have finally decided to accept by early 2024.