Apple is preparing to allow ``app stores other than the App Store'' on the iPhone for the first time

Apple allows iOS apps that can be used on the iPhone to be installed only from the official app store, the App Store. However, since rival Android can install apps from outside the official app store, there has long been a voice that Apple should allow ``app stores other than the App Store''. Bloomberg reported that Apple is preparing to allow such ``app stores other than the App Store''.

Will Apple Allow Users to Install Third-Party App Stores, Sideload in Europe? - Bloomberg

Bloomberg reports that Apple is undergoing a drastic review to comply with the `` Digital Market Law '', which is a strict requirement of the European Union (EU). As part of this review, Apple is preparing to allow 'third-party app stores', which are app stores other than the App Store on iPhone and iPad.

According to people familiar with Apple's efforts, employees involved in software engineering and service building are engaged in a large-scale effort to unlock key elements of Apple's platform. If app stores other than the App Store are allowed, customers will eventually be able to install third-party apps on iPhones and iPads without using the App Store. If so, it will be possible to use apps that ignore the 'strict guidelines' imposed on the current App Store, and to avoid the 'up to 30% fee'.

This is a move to address EU digital market law, but sources say Apple's projects could well expand to other regions if similar laws are passed in other countries. is said to be saying However, at the time of writing the article, it seems that the specification change is designed to be enforced only in Europe, which is the ``scope of the Digital Market Law''.

After reports that Apple may allow third-party app stores, Bloomberg reports that the stock prices of companies that develop dating apps and others that are struggling with the fees charged by the App Store have soared. Bloomberg said this is a sign of hopes that it will be freed from Apple's control, and Spotify's stock price, which has long been pointed out that the App Store's fees are too high , has risen 9.7%. It seems that I did.

The Digital Markets Act will come into force in the coming months, but businesses will not have to comply with all regulations until 2024. The United States and other countries are moving to establish similar regulations, but at the time of writing the article, there is no country where legislation is as advanced as the EU.

The Digital Market Act requires technology companies to allow the installation of third-party apps and make it easier for users to change default settings. They also want their messaging services to work together to give external developers equal access to core functionality within their apps and services.

The Digital Market Law applies to technology companies with a market capitalization of 75 billion euros (about 10 trillion yen) or more and monthly users of 45 million or more in the EU.

Apple's attempt to comply with digital market law. It is led by Andreas Wendker, who reports directly to Craig Federighi, the company's vice president of software engineering. Jeff Robin, the top engineering manager of Apple's services department and a direct report of Mr. Eddie Cue, the top of the services department, is also involved in the project.

Sources say Apple is devoting a significant amount of resources to this effort. Apple has continued to criticize sideloading , which installs apps from outside the official app store, so attempts to allow third-party app stores are ``not popular within Apple,'' Bloomberg reports. In fact, Apple lobbied against the Digital Markets Act when it was submitted, claiming that ``sideloading can put unsafe apps on consumers' devices and compromise their privacy.'' have argued.

Apple's senior vice president criticizes the liberalization of sideloading when malware overflows when ``getting apps from outside the App Store'' is realized-GIGAZINE

Some engineers working on this project believe that the specification change is 'a typical and routine hindrance to future development.' Apple seems to be preparing to change the specifications as part of iOS 17, which is scheduled to be released in 2023.

Apple seems to be discussing the idea of mandating certain security requirements to protect users, even if apps can be installed from outside the App Store. Apps distributed by third-party app stores may also be verified by Apple. And it seems that Apple may collect a fee from each application through this process.

After being investigated by the Japan Fair Trade Commission, Apple began to allow ``displaying links to external sites within apps'' in September 2021, which had not been allowed until then. However, the EU's Digital Markets Act goes a step further and requires the availability of third-party payment systems.

Apple allows linking to external websites from within the app, changing the terms worldwide - GIGAZINE

Regarding whether Apple will allow third-party apps to use payment systems other than the App Store, sources said, ``Apple has not made a final decision on this matter.'' If the use of third-party payment systems is approved, it will be possible to purchase in-app content without going through Apple's system.

In addition, Apple seems to be working to release more private application programming interfaces (APIs) for third-party apps. Scheduled for release is an API related to the underlying framework that allows interaction with Apple hardware and core systems.

In addition, Apple requires web browsers distributed on the App Store to use WebKit, the same browser engine as Safari, the company's genuine browser application. However, Apple seems to be considering lifting this regulation as part of responding to the Digital Market Law.

In addition, Apple is working to release features, including more camera technology and near-field communication chips (NFC), to at least limited third-party app developers. At the time of writing the article, the NFC chip installed in the iPhone can only be used with services such as Apple's Wallet application and Apple Pay. However, if these usage restrictions are lifted, similar functions will be available for third-party apps.

However, it seems that Apple has not made a decision to release the function to third-party application developers for messaging applications including iMessage. Apple engineers are concerned that doing so would compromise the end-to-end encryption and privacy features iMessage offers. In addition, at the time of writing, ``Apple is not considering'' the integration of RCS, a messaging protocol that Google is working on Apple to adopt, sources said.

Talks are also underway to further open up Apple's Find My network to lost property trackers that compete with AirTag. Apple has been providing some Find My network features to third parties since 2021, but competitors have criticized ``Apple is giving its products an edge.''

Repeat violations of digital market laws can subject companies to fines of up to 20% of their annual turnover. Apple's sales in 2022 are about $ 400 billion (about 54 trillion yen), so the fine for violating the Digital Market Act could be $ 80 billion (about 10 trillion yen).

in Mobile,   Software, Posted by logu_ii