Apple’s new policy allows EU iPhone users to download apps directly from developers’ websites with the iOS 17.5 beta version. This move seeks to adhere to the Digital Markets Act regulations and aims at stimulating competition among app providers. The feature, while raising concerns over user safety, intends to redefine the norms of digital transactions in the EU.

Prior to this, Apple only permitted app downloads via their App Store. In a significant policy shift announced in March, developers received the green light to offer software downloads directly from their sites, leading to a probable surge in app production.

Developers are required to meet specific criteria to distribute their apps.

Apple allows EU direct app downloads

These include having a two-year active membership with the Apple Developer Program, over one million app installations in the EU within a year, and a strict adherence to notarization procedures and clear data collection policies. Regular app updates, exceptional customer service, and adherence to intellectual property laws are also mandatory requirements.

The new policy promises standard features such as backup, updates, and restoration. It also admonishes Apple’s continued commitment to providing a secure and controlled ecosystem for its users. However, pertaining risks include the potential for spyware and virus infections, bypassing Apple’s stringent app review process, and the burden of user support falling directly onto app developers.

The change is currently restricted to the EU region, in accordance with DMA directives, and plans for expansion to other regions are underway. Forthcoming tech events, such as the Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10, will feature a key discourse on AI advancements, with complete launch anticipated by September.

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