Apple is actively working towards enabling users within the European Union to sideload apps onto their iPhones, as mentioned by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his latest weekly newsletter. This marks a significant shift as iPhone owners in the EU will soon have the capability to install apps that are not exclusively available on Apple’s App Store, a move mandated by recent EU regulations. This development, however, is exclusive to the EU and won’t extend to users in other regions, distinguishing it from Google’s Android operating system.
In the subscriber-exclusive edition of Gurman’s weekly Power On newsletter, relayed through MacRumors, he asserts that the option for iPhone users in the EU to sideload apps is anticipated to be available in the first half of 2024. This newfound freedom allows users to install apps that may not comply with the stringent regulations of the App Store. Gurman’s revelation contradicts a previous report suggesting that the iOS 17.2 update might introduce sideloading support for EU residents in the coming month. However, it appears that the earlier identified code was related to managed devices for organizational purposes.
Gurman details that Apple will implement a “highly controlled system” for EU users to sideload apps, indicating that these apps will still undergo security checks. Apple’s concern for security remains paramount, as external app sources could potentially introduce security vulnerabilities to the platform. Additionally, adjustments are expected for Apple’s payment services and the Messages app in alignment with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Recent reports suggest a temporary pause in the development of Apple’s iOS 18 update to address various bugs in the company’s code. The upcoming update is slated to introduce “major new features and designs,” potentially overhauling the user interface and incorporating advanced AI-powered features into the smartphone operating system.
With Google and Microsoft already integrating AI-powered features into their operating systems through Google Assistant with Bard and Microsoft Copilot, Gurman emphasizes the need for Apple’s iOS 18 update to be exceptionally impressive. This anticipation is heightened as the iPhone 16 series, set to succeed the current iPhone 15 lineup, is not expected to bring substantial hardware upgrades in the following year.