Apple Announces App Installations From Websites In The EU Coming Soon

Following the release of iOS 17.4 to the public Apple’s iPhones now support third-party app stores for the first time, but only if you happen to be in the European Union.

Apps can be installed from third-party stores that have been approved by Apple, but Apple has now confirmed that they’ll soon be available via the developer’s website as well.

The move was announced via a post to the company’s developer website in which it confirmed that it will be launching new APIs to make the web-based installations possible, although only in the EU.

Web Distribution, available with a software update later this spring, will let authorized developers distribute their iOS apps to EU users directly from a website owned by the developer. Apple will provide authorized developers access to APIs that facilitate the distribution of their apps from the web, integrate with system functionality, back up and restore users’ apps, and more.

There are, however, limitations. Developers will need to be enrolled in the Apple Developer Program as an entity within the EU, while they must also be a member of good standing for two continuous years or more and have an app that has more than one million downloads.

This change appears to be in response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act and Apple’s attempt to comply with it, albeit in ways that some suggested might not have been to the letter of the law. Now, this move seems to be one being forced upon Apple as a result.

A launch date for this new feature isn’t clear right now, but Apple says that it will be available as part of a software update later this spring.

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