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AltStore PAL - the first legal replacement of the App Store with programs for iPhone - has been launched in the EU

AltStore PAL - the first legal replacement of the App Store with programs for iPhone - has been launched in the EU
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AltStore PAL is officially operating throughout the EU thanks to the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), which requires Apple's permission for third-party app downloads.

The marketplace will cost 1.50 euros per year + tax (this is intended to cover Apple's commission for the underlying technology) and is launching with a free Nintendo Delta emulator and a Clip clipboard manager, banned in the App Store (as for Delta, it is also available in the Apple store, but for users outside of Europe).

During the initial installation, users will be greeted with so-called "scary screens" from Apple - a warning that "updates and purchases in this app will be managed by the developer." The company says these are sensible security measures, but critics believe they will raise doubts among iOS users about venturing outside the ecosystem, hinting that it is riskier than downloading through the App Store.

As The Verge notes, AltStore itself is not a new program and has existed since 2019. However, it was previously installed using workarounds with accompanying software called AltServer, which runs on Mac or PC. For the EU, developer Riley Testut has offered a separate version called AltStore PAL.

Testut points out that when AltStore PAL "runs smoothly," third-party app developers will be able to submit their programs for distribution. The marketplace is designed as decentralized without a catalog, so developers will need to advertise their apps and direct users to their websites to install apps through AltStore.

AltStore PAL is also integrated with Patreon so developers can monetize their apps. iPhone owners in the EU can download AltStore PAL from the AltStore website.

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