Apple is again reportedly ready to get the iPhone into a position where it can be allowed to install apps outside of the App Store.
The move could come as soon as the iOS 17 update that will be shown off to developers at WWDC on June 5.
Writing in the weekly Power On newsletter Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that iOS 17 is going to lay the groundwork for sideloading, something that Apple is being forced to do by new European regulations.
And iOS 17 will cause some noise beyond WWDC itself. Apple is working to overhaul the software to open up the iPhone to sideloading — the downloading of apps outside of its official store — to comply with new European regulations by next year.
Currently, iPhones can only install apps and games via the App Store but it’s now said that sideloading could be coming to the platform for the first time.
Sideloading would allow people to install apps and games without going via the App Store, although it isn’t clear what security and privacy mechanisms Apple might put in to ensure user safety.
Apple is expected to announce the iOS 17 software during an event on 5 June and then make the update immediately available in beta form. It’ll then be released to the public in or around September assuming that Apple follows the usual release cadence that we have seen in previous years.
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