Will Apple allow sideloading of apps on iOS by the end of 2024?
resolved Jun 11

Apple in 2021:

‘Sideloading is a cyber criminal’s best friend,’ according to Apple’s software chief

Craig Federighi says that “the floodgates are open for malware” if Apple allows sideloading on iOS

Source: Verge

And now it appears that Apple may soon allow sideloading of apps on iOS.

From 9to5mac:

iOS 17.2 hints at Apple moving towards letting users sideload apps from outside the App Store

Apple has been under pressure in the European Union as the Digital Markets Act antitrust legislation requires the company to allow users to sideload apps outside the App Store to increase competition. 9to5Mac has now found evidence in the iOS 17.2 beta code that the company is indeed moving towards enabling sideloading on iOS devices.

What is sideloading?

For those unfamiliar, the sideloading process consists of installing apps obtained from third-party sources instead of an official source. When it comes to iOS, the official source (and the only one available to iPhone and iPad users) is the App Store. Apple has never allowed sideloading on iOS, as this would allow apps to bypass the App Store guidelines.

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@traders the creator of this market no longer exists, how can we request a resolution?

@MartimLobao in my opinion this is a clear "NO". Every app still has to be approved by apple and cant be installed like you can any app on a mac. Also the developer has to pay apple for this. this isnt sideloading like on mac or android.

@notune The question and description don't mention that there wouldn't be any rules or restrictions to sideloading, only that it's possible. The sideloaded apps only need to be notarized by Apple but not reviewed by them, and the app developer doesn't actually pay Apple anything (the maintainer of the alternative app store may have to in some cases, though).


I think that any reasonable interpretation of this question would conclude that it is now possible to sideload apps on iOS, though with some restrictions (e.g. only in the EU, for example).

@MartimLobao as far as i know i still have to pay that 100$ per year to apple, and if i dont in the future, then my certificate gets invalide and the app cant be installed anymore. on a mac i can download and install apps without a certificate. on android we also dont need a certificate. At least for me, it doesnt fullfil the term "sideloading". because for me it would mean any developer can distribute software outside from apple. for example pirated games wouldnt be possible because of the "combination of automated checks and human review". also fake gps apps like on android are not possible "False information and features, including inaccurate device data or trick/joke functionality, such as fake location trackers." Also apps still are forced to used apples webkit: "Apps that browse the web must use the appropriate WebKit framework and WebKit JavaScript.". etc. etc. so we STILL HAVE A REVIEW. its just that there is less to consider. But there is still a lot of stuff that is not allowed. You can see the full list here: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/#safety and by cl

icking on "Show Notarization Review Guidelines Only"

I created a question with closer resolution date, also including beta releases (I'm not sure if yours includes that, probably not?)

@MrLuke255 No, just beta releases are not included for this market

@firstuserhere Honestly I doubt they wouldn't release this feature ASAP if they had it in beta, so it doesn't make much difference

Does this count if it’s only allowed in the EU?

@MitchellButler haha, valid question. Yes, it counts.

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