This update just made Apple’s iPhones more like Android


Last week, Apple rolled out the iOS 17.4 update. The update is significant for users in the EU as it basically allowed them to download and install third-party app stores. But if you’d rather not go through the hassle, Apple has announced some slight changes that will make sideloading apps on the iPhone a lot more like Android.

This comes in the form of a new “Web Distribution” feature. Basically what this means is that developers will now be able to distribute iOS apps directly from their website. Users will not need to download and install a third-party app store just to get these apps. Instead, they can just download them directly from the developer’s website.

If that sounds familiar, it is because it is more or less similar to how Android users sideload apps. This is useful and efficient because users who might only need one app won’t have to go through the process of downloading a brand new app store just to get it. The downside is that developers who choose to use this method will have to pay Apple’s Core Technology Fee.

The apps will also need to abide by Apple’s notorization guidelines, and the website the app is downloaded from has to be registered in App Store Connect. It seems that there are more hoops to jump through, but like we said, it does seem more convenient than downloading an entire store just for a single app.

This new feature isn’t live yet. Apple says that it will be launching this Spring. Another thing to note is that it still only applies to users in the EU. The rest of us can only hope that Apple will implement this sideloading apps feature for iPhone users in the rest of the world.

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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