Exclusive to the European Union, Apple will now allow users to side-load apps and use third-party app stores on their iPhones. Apple has taken all these steps to comply with the new Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Developers will now support and offer alternative distribution and payment methods thanks to over 600 new APIs provided by Apple. All these changes will be released with iOS 17.4.

Furthermore, European iOS users will also have more choices when it comes to selecting their default web browser.

Here’s a list of all the changes in iOS,

Apple summarized the changes in iOS and App Store as follows:

Changes To iOS

  • New options for distributing iOS apps from alternative app marketplaces
  • New framework and APIs for creating alternative app marketplaces
  • New frameworks and APIs for alternative browser engines
  • Interoperability request form

Changes To The App Store

  • New options for using payment service providers (PSPs)
  • New options for processing payments via link-out
  • Business planning tools
  • App Store product page labels
  • In-app disclosure sheets
  • New App Review processes
  • Expanded data portability on Apple’s Data & Privacy site

Still, the third-party app stores and apps will have to go through security and privacy reviews before running on iOS. However, Apple has also admitted that third-party app stores increase risks like malware, fraud, or harmful content and impact user experience factors like performance and family sharing.

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