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Goodbye App Store. Apple finally allows app downloads from third-party sites in the EU

Goodbye App Store. Apple finally allows app downloads from third-party sites in the EU
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Yesterday Apple issued a directive regarding iOS apps - developers who meet the company's criteria (including the conditions of notarizing apps) will be able to offer their programs for iPhone for direct download from websites to users in the EU.

For the Apple ecosystem, which categorically prohibited third-party downloads, this is a major change. In the past, the company controlled the flow of revenue for iOS developers through its own App Store and charged significant commissions. In March, Apple announced changes in view of the new Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to level the playing field for businesses.

On Tuesday, as TechCrunch reports, an Apple representative said that the option of third-party downloads will be available through beta version 2 of iOS 17.5. However, developers will have to accept the company's terms for this, including the new "core technology fee" of €0.50 for every first annual installation after exceeding the threshold of 1 million downloads per year, regardless of the app distribution location.

Other criteria include having a "good reputation" for the developer, agreement on the right to consider disputes over intellectual property and government requests for removal, as well as providing iOS users with maintenance services, as apps downloaded from external sources will not provide such support. Additionally, all apps must be notarized.

When first downloading from a developer's website, an iOS user must authorize the installation of apps directly on their device. In the future, Apple devices will issue a warning each time that "updates and purchases in this app will be managed by the developer."

Apple says these steps are reasonable security measures, however, critics say that such "fear screens" will raise doubts among iOS users about stepping outside the ecosystem, hinting that direct downloads are riskier than downloads through the App Store.

In addition, iOS developers will be able to inform their users about cheaper offers available outside the App Store.

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