Users of Apple can install apps from outside App Store
Apple plans to allow users to install apps from outside App Store to run on iOS devices in order to comply with new anti-monopolistic regulations from the European Union (EU). This could benefit apps building around NFTs and possibly enable mobile crypto payments. This may be considered a significant gain for crypto and NFT app developers, in Europe.
For the first time on the iPhone and iPad, Apple is planning to support independent App Stores and enable sideloading. Users and app developers would be able to avoid Apple's Program Store after the firm takes this move and instead offer their app to be directly downloaded without the requirement for an app store. This would possibly allow developers to avoid Apple's commission fees for apps and in-app purchases.
This change by Apple is in response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which requires technology companies to allow the installation of third-party apps and let users change default settings more easily. The regulations mandate interoperability between messaging systems and equal access for outside developers to the core features of apps and services. This new law will take effect in the European Union by 2024.
In addition to third-party app stores, Apple is also internally discussing possible changes to iMessage, more APIs, changes to WebKit requirements, allowing more applications to use the NFC chip, and opening up its Find My network.
Those with knowledge of the project claim that the company's alterations are originally only planned to go into effect in Europe. Developers will be able to distribute of support for external apps from third-party sources and marketplaces only in the European Union to comply with the new law. Depending on whether other countries adopt similar regulations, the functionality could be expanded to other territories.
Apple is aiming to include the modification in iOS 17, which is anticipated to be presented at WWDC in the summer of 2023.
CBW - External Analyst