‘Sideloading of apps will come to the European App Store in early 2024’

Sideloading apps on your iPhone will be possible in the EU in the first half of 2024. You will then be able to download apps hosted outside Apple’s official App Store. You need to know this!

App sideloading will come to the EU in 2024

The usually reliable Apple analyst Mark Gurman has predicted that from 2024 we will be able to install apps without the App Store. This so-called sideloading ensures that developers do not have to pay the 15 to 30 percent that Apple charges for hosting in the App Store. Instead, developers offer the apps on the Internet, bypassing the App Store.

According to Gurman, Apple will therefore introduce a “highly controlled system” to allow the installation of apps without the App Store. In addition, the company may adjust the Messages and payment apps, probably via an iOS 17 update.

Sideloading apps will not be possible in 2023

Gurman’s post contradicts a recent report suggesting sideloading would be in the iOS 17.2 update, expected to be released next month. In that report, a new code was mistaken for sideloading. According to Gurman, sideloading apps in the EU will only be possible in the first half of 2024.

Digital Markets Act (DMA)

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) from the European Union, which came into effect on November 1, 2022, requires companies such as Apple to open their services and platforms to other developers. The DMA will have a major impact on Apple’s platforms and it could lead to Apple making major changes to the App Store, Messages, FaceTime, Siri, and more.

Apple has before indicated that sideloading apps will undermine “the privacy and security protections iPhone users rely on.” This increases vulnerability to malware, scams and other problems. However, Apple must adhere to the DMA and therefore enable sideloading apps sometime in 2024. If not, the company risks fines of up to 20 percent of global turnover.

sideloading apps 2024

Authentication system for external apps

About a year ago, Gurman said that Apple was considering introducing security requirements. The idea is that Apple will then charge a fee for verification instead of making money from selling apps. For example, Apple has an authentication system on the Mac that keeps users safe while still allowing access to apps outside the Mac App Store.

If other countries introduce similar legislation, it is conceivable that alternative app stores will expand beyond the European Union. For example, the United States is also considering legislation that would require Apple to allow app sideloading by 2024.

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