1 min read

Apple’s iOS 17.5 Beta 2 Update Allows iPhone Users to Download Apps From External Websites

Apple’s iOS 17.5 Beta 2 Update Brings Third-Party App Downloads to iPhone Users in Some EU Countries

In a significant shift, iPhone users in select European Union (EU) countries can now download apps from sources outside of the official App Store. This move marks a notable departure from Apple’s longstanding policy and comes in response to pressure from EU regulators. The introduction of the iOS 17.5 beta 2 version signals a potential sea change for iPhone users, albeit limited to certain geographic regions within the EU.

It’s evident that Apple’s decision to open up iOS to third-party app distribution is a direct response to regulatory scrutiny, particularly from EU authorities. However, it’s worth noting that Apple is not extending this newfound freedom to all markets. Consequently, users outside of the EU may not experience the same level of access to third-party app sources.

The newfound ability for iPhone users to download apps from external websites carries significant implications, particularly for developers. Companies like Epic Games, which have previously circumvented the App Store due to concerns over Apple’s commission structure, stand to benefit from this change. Referred to as Web Distribution, this feature allows developers to establish a direct connection with iPhone users through their respective websites.

However, Apple is not relinquishing control easily. The tech giant has established strict guidelines and terms for developers participating in Web Distribution. Notably, developers are required to pay a core technology fee for each app install exceeding a specified threshold within a 12-month period. Additionally, Apple has curated an App Store Connect platform, comprising approved websites deemed safe for app downloads on iPhones.

Apple’s preference for maintaining control over its ecosystem is well-documented across its various platforms, including iOS, macOS, and watchOS. While the EU’s regulatory intervention has prompted some concessions, Apple has devised mechanisms to uphold its authority. However, these measures may face scrutiny from both developers and regulators alike. It remains to be seen how these changes will unfold in the coming months and how they will impact the broader app ecosystem.

Leave a Reply