iPad gets alternative app stores (but that’s not all)

Apple has announced that the second beta of iPadOS is bringing 18 alternative App Stores and other changes to the iPad in the EU.

iPad is also getting App Store changes

In April, it became clear that the European Union would force Apple to make the same App Store changes for the iPad as previously made for the iPhone. The changes include alternative payment options in the App Store, a default web browser selection screen in Safari, the ability for web browsers to use web engines other than Apple’s WebKit on the iPhone and iPad, and more. Apple’s existing terms also apply to the iPad, including the Core Technology Fee for alternative App Stores.

Apple first introduced these changes on the iPhone in the European Union with iOS 17.4 earlier this year, to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the EU. The extension of the changes to the iPad in the EU comes almost two months after the European Commission said that iPadOS is also a gatekeeper platform under these new regulations.

iOS app stores

Developers can already test

The second beta of iPadOS 18 now offers the opportunity to test those EU changes and alternative App Stores on the iPad for the first time. Apple announced this news on the developer website:

The changes for apps in the European Union (EU), currently available to iOS users in the 27 EU countries, can now be tested in iPadOS 18 beta 2 with Xcode 16 beta 2.

Apple has one support page for developers with the EU App Store changes that already apply to iOS and will officially apply to iPadOS this fall.

iPadOS 18 is currently in developer beta, with a public beta to follow in July. The final update is expected to be widely released in September.

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