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Your iPhone might soon be able to download apps from other sources. The sideloading capability isn’t arriving in iOS 17, but the company is considering allowing it at an unspecified time in the future.

Apple is no stranger to anticompetitive accusations due to its exclusive ecosystem. For instance, the European Union claimed that the company’s restrictions on third-party app downloading and installation reflect its anticompetitive behavior. Rumors then started last year, claiming the company was already working on it. 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, it seems the company is still considering the matter in the future. According to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, the company was “working with the EU” regarding safety compliance, and this is reasonable. Apple is known for creating a safe and secure environment and ecosystem for its products, so opening them up immediately for third-party apps and content is impossible.

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.”

While Federighi’s statement might sound exciting for iPhone users, it is important to note that it might only cover the EU market, as stressed by Bloomberg’s report. The move reportedly started in iOS 16, with 9To5Mac claiming an unused code restricting features based on the user’s location was spotted. This is a huge indication that the company is not just considering sideloading but has already started exploring it. And in case this is officially made available in future updates (hopefully in the stable version of iOS 17), it will be a game changer for iOS users… in the EU market, of course.


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