Apple has recently unveiled the initial beta build of iOS 17.4, bringing forth significant transformations in how users can install applications. This update, highlighted by MacRumors, aligns with the anticipated changes mandated by the new EU legislation.
Freedom Beyond the App Store
As anticipated, iOS 17.4 signifies a pivotal moment for iPhone users. Apple is breaking barriers by allowing the installation of iOS applications through channels other than the App Store. This shift empowers users to explore third-party app stores, which will operate as standard iOS applications. These alternative stores will be granted system rights to install additional iOS applications. Apple plans to release APIs to facilitate the creation of third-party marketplaces for distributing applications on iPhones and iPads.
Controlled Expansion with Enhanced Security
Despite this newfound freedom, Apple is implementing a robust system of checks and verifications to prevent the unbridled spread of third-party applications on iPhones. This security measure mirrors the existing framework in macOS, ensuring a controlled environment. Importantly, Apple will not impose any commission on purchases made in third-party stores. Moreover, the commission for developers within the App Store itself is reduced from 30% to 17%, fostering a more developer-friendly ecosystem.
Geographical Limitations and Uncertainties
While these groundbreaking changes are poised to revolutionize the app ecosystem, it appears that they will initially apply exclusively to EU countries, notes NIX Solutions. The extent to which these new rules can be applied in other regions remains uncertain, leaving users and developers beyond the EU awaiting further clarification.
In conclusion, iOS 17.4 beta 1 represents a pivotal step for Apple, aligning with evolving regulatory frameworks and enhancing user and developer experiences.