Sideloading apps from the web in the EU is possible with iOS 17.5

Apple App Store

As promised, the iOS 17.5 beta includes support for sideloading apps directly from authorized websites developers in Europe. Union.

When Apple first unveiled its plans to comply with the EU Digital Markets Act, it intended to only allow sideloading of apps through authorized alternative app stores. Regulators disagreed with this implementation and required Apple to add support for loading websites, which it promised to do in a spring update.

Links to Web Distribution code discovered by MacRumors suggest that iOS 17.5 will allow sideloading of apps from websites. It is not possible to download any app from any website as Apple still requires strict security and authorization checks.

Developers must sign up to new EU business conditions that allow them to create third-party app marketplaces. To qualify, they must have been in the Developer Program for at least two years and have an app that achieves over one million first installs annually.

Apple did not directly mention the alternative requirement for app marketplaces as a possible option for developers, but it could also be allowed for web distribution. The alternative requires a standby letter of credit of one million euros and two years of participation in the development program.

The first beta version of iOS 17.5 was released on Tuesday, April 2, with minimal updates for users, such as changes to the Podcasts app widget. The public release likely won't be until late April or early May.

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