Apple has long held a strict control over its iOS ecosystem, with the company only allowing users to download apps from the official App Store. However, in recent years, there has been increasing pressure from developers and regulators to allow third-party app sideloading on the iPhone. In response, Apple has announced plans to introduce a new system that will allow third-party app sideloading on the iPhone while maintaining security and privacy for its users.
Sideloading refers to the process of installing apps from outside the official App Store. It is currently possible to sideload apps on Android devices, but Apple has never allowed it on iOS, citing security and privacy concerns. However, this has been a major point of contention for some developers, who feel that Apple’s strict control over the App Store is anti-competitive and limits their ability to reach customers.
To address these concerns, Apple has announced plans to introduce a new system for sideloading third-party apps on the iPhone. The new system, called “App Library API,” will be available in iOS 15 and will allow users to sideload apps directly from the internet, bypassing the App Store.
The App Library API will provide a way for developers to distribute their apps without going through the App Store’s strict review process. Developers will be able to distribute their apps through their own websites or other third-party app stores. This will give developers more control over the distribution of their apps and provide an alternative to the App Store for users who want to download apps that are not available on the official store.
However, Apple has emphasized that the new system will not compromise security or privacy. The company will still require developers to submit their apps for review and provide an App Store listing. Developers will also be required to adhere to strict security and privacy guidelines, and Apple will monitor the distribution of apps through the new system to ensure that they are safe and secure.
Apple has also emphasized that the new system is not a replacement for the App Store. The App Store will still be the primary way for users to discover and download apps, and Apple will continue to enforce its strict review process for apps that are submitted to the store.
Overall, the introduction of the App Library API represents a significant shift in Apple’s approach to app distribution on the iPhone. While the company will maintain strict control over the App Store, the new system will provide developers with an alternative way to distribute their apps and give users more choice and flexibility when it comes to downloading and installing apps on their devices.