Many have called Apple’s ecosystem a walled garden, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Apple is generally very strict regarding third-party apps and services, and to date there is no way to sideload apps outside of the App Store unless you jailbreak your iPhone, something that isn’t very common these days either.
That could change in the future. A report from Bloomberg claims that Apple has actually been working behind the scenes to allow iOS devices to eventually allow for the sideloading of apps. Apparently this comes on the heels of laws in the EU, particularly the Digital Markets Act that is designed to prevent tech companies from monopolizing the market with their products and services.
For those concerned about security, the report claims that Apple is working on ways to prevent bad things from happening, such as introducing a screening or verification process that is paid, meaning that it will give Apple another way of earning money. It is unclear how it will work, but maybe it could end up being similar to the company’s MFi program where maybe sideloaded apps could have a “certified” kind of badge so that users know it’s safe to install.
Sideloading on Android, on the other hand, is a relatively simple and straightforward process and has been around for years, but assuming this report is accurate, it looks like in the future, Apple’s iOS devices could allow it as well.