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Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman finally confirmed that app sideloading is indeed coming to iOS 17. According to the famous leaker, the feature is expected to be included in the next major update, which “should be in the spring release.” However, while this is huge news for users who have always been waiting for this, Gurman stressed that it will only be available in the European Union and that Apple won’t make it easy for people to use.

mark gurman confirms Apple app sideloading function on discord

The revelation was shared while Gurman, known for leaking tons of Apple-related features and products, answered questions from Apple fans in his Power On Discord community (via IT Home). The journalist noted that the move is part of Apple’s moves to comply with the EU’s Digital Market Act (DMA). However, while iOS 17 is officially coming in September of 2023, the first version of the update where the function will be fully available will arrive next year’s Spring.

This news should clarify the actual state of the function under Apple. To recall, rumors last year claimed the company was already working on the sideloading feature for Apple users. However, this was dismissed after the company shared the details of the iOS 17 beta, with no trace of third-party app sideloading features announced. Despite this, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said the company was “working with the EU” regarding safety compliance of the function.

Federighi’s comment came during an interview on The Talk Show With John Gruber. During the exchanges, Federighi seemingly stressed that the company is taking the matter gradually. “We want to make sure that whatever we do is the right thing for our customers: the safety of our customers,” Federighi said. “We are working with the EU on what safe compliance could look like.”

Federighi’s statements further fueled the speculations about the matter, with online news website 9To5Mac claiming an unused code restricting features based on the user’s location was spotted in iOS 16. According to the report, Apple has been exploring the sideloading function, albeit in a limited location. Unfortunately, Gurman has corroborated the idea, saying sideloading will just be available to EU customers. Moreover, he added that Apple is “going to downplay it and lock it down so significantly.” If this is true, it means Apple will roll out the function without making big or huge direct announcements about it, and it will be hidden inside Settings. This should discourage users not only from using the sideloading option but so as in discovering it.


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