Rumors of Apple finally loosening the reigns for iOS 17

iOS 17 side loading means loosening control by Apple
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Rumor has it that the totalitarian king of smartphones, Apple, may finally loosen its grip on its centralized operating system. Apple’s iOS 17 update is expected to bestow several new changes onto iPhone users, including the highly anticipated feature of sideloading apps.

This new feature will allow users to download apps from external sources rather than solely relying on Apple’s official App Store, marking a significant shift in the way iPhone users access applications. The update is expected to be announced during the WWDC 2023 event in June.

Sideloading has been a popular feature on Android, PC, and MacOS for some time, but has not been available on iOS devices. This is due to Apple’s belief that enabling sideloading would compromise the security of its ecosystem and leave iPhone users vulnerable to malware, scams, and other forms of hacking. Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously stated that sideloading of apps would “destroy the security of the iPhone.” (Not to mention their monopoly over what iPhone users have access to.)

However, Apple has now decided to introduce sideloading support for the first time ever in the iOS 17 update, but it will only be available in the European Union (EU) in the initial phase, as confirmed by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. This move is in response to new EU regulations that have compelled big tech companies like Apple to open up their services and platforms to other developers, allowing users to download apps from diverse sources.

The Digital Markets Act of the European Union, set to take effect in 2024, represents a significant overhaul of the EU’s digital regulations. It mandates that big tech firms open up their services and platforms to other developers and ensure that their practices are fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory. The act also aims to prevent companies from using their dominance in one area to gain an unfair advantage in another.

While the move to allow sideloading is a major shift in Apple’s long-standing policy, it remains to be seen whether the company will bring this feature to iPhones in countries other than Europe. Apple may choose to keep its ecosystem closed in other markets due to concerns about security and user experience. However, introducing sideloading in Europe may put pressure on Apple to reconsider its stance in other regions as well.

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The new feature will be a significant win for users who have been demanding greater freedom and flexibility in the way they access and use apps on their iPhones. It will allow them to explore a wider range of apps and services that are not available on Apple’s App Store, which has been a point of contention for many users.

However, it is important to note that sideloading comes with its own risks. Downloading apps from external sources can leave users vulnerable to malware, scams, and other forms of hacking. Users will need to be cautious when downloading apps from third-party sources and ensure that they are downloading from trusted sources.

Overall, the move to allow sideloading is a positive step towards greater openness and flexibility in the iOS ecosystem. It remains to be seen how users will receive this feature and whether it will lead to increased competition and innovation in the app marketplace.

Apple hasn’t released their official specs for iOS 17 yet but you can find full descriptions of their current iOS features here.

 

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