Sideloading - Apple only wants iPhone apps from the App Store

Currently, many public authorities are opposing the big tech companies from the USA. In addition to the Federal Cartel Office and the European Union, the US judiciary is also interested in the monopoly positions of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple. The iPhone manufacturer wants to keep its app monopoly on mobile devices. While software has been running on the Mac under macOS for a long time, which is available via the Internet or alternative app collections (e.g. B.SetApp) is loaded, this is not possible under iOS. There are calls that so-called "sideloading" should be made possible. But Apple defends itself and tries to draw attention to the dangers with a story.

Apple doesn't believe in sideloading. Downloading iPhone apps should only be possible via the official app store. Cartel offices and developers want a more open system and app downloads from websites, alternative stores and the like.

Apple doesn't believe in sideloading. Downloading iPhone apps should only be possible via the official app store. Cartel offices and developers want a more open system and app downloads from websites, alternative stores and the like.

What is sideloading?

The term “sideloading” describes the process by which apps are downloaded from a source other than the official app store. This can be done via a website or an alternative app store. As an example, you can see the Mac with macOS here. This offers an official app store, but can also run programs from websites, GitHub or elsewhere. This allows for more open competition because Apple doesn't completely represent the platform, app review, and competition all rolled into one. That is why sideloading is also required for the iPhone (and iPad). Apple still has an absolute monopoly.

Apple argues against sideloading

Apple has issued a 16-page position paper on the subject of sideloading, which you can read with this link view and download as PDF. It is introduced not only with a quote from Steve Jobs, but also with statements from the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) from 2016 and from the US Department of Homeland Security Report from 2017 - all three speak in favor of the exclusive use of the app store out. Then attention is drawn to how sensitive the data on the iPhone is; followed by a fictional story in which the devices of John and his 7 year old daughter Emma are attacked. In a nutshell: "Sideloading is bad and endangers all users".

What is your opinion on the app download on Apple mobile devices?

How do you see the topic of sideloading? Do you think like the developers who are calling for a more open system so as not to be patronized by Apple? Or are you on the side of the (promised) absolute security of the previously proprietary system made up of iPhone and iOS or iPad and iPadOS? Should Apple perhaps allow a middle ground or should the company refuse all demands for sideloading possibilities? Feel free to leave your opinion on the topic!

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2 comments

  1. Robert says:

    Basically, I'm against it. But I see the danger for monopoly here. To get around that, I could imagine that Apple allows further AppStore and these have to run in a sandbox. I can't say whether that's safe enough. I would prefer Apple to be forced to disclose the rules that are pending for the control of the approved apps. Here companies / programmers should have the opportunity to submit an objection to a third party and Apple would then have to act on them. Then something like that could not happen that Apple prohibits "Podcast" app because they offer the same thing as Apple itself. Perhaps the companies / programmers would be satisfied with transparent rules and enforceable publications.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      I don't think Apple has banned podcasts app across the board, do I? But you're right: It would be nice if the rules were open (including THE rules that they have internally). And I don't think it's correct that they claim that all developers are treated equally when they obviously let Amazon and Netflix get away with things that no other developer is allowed to do.

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