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Apple is worried about iPhone “sideloading” as EU tech regulations go into effect.

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Apple has made major policy changes to the App Store in reaction to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the European Union, which has alarmed both users and government authorities. The tech behemoth disclosed that many organizations, both inside and outside the EU, have expressed security concerns about the “sideloading” of apps on iPhones and iPads.

Apple will have to enable other app stores on its devices as of March 7 and allow developers to choose not to use its in-app payment mechanism, which is notorious for charging up to 30% in fees. The DMA ordered this action with the goal of increasing customer choice in app distribution and payment options while also promoting competition.

Users and government organizations have opposed the idea of “sideloading,” which is the process of installing apps on a mobile device without using the official app store. Apple emphasized that agencies from the EU and beyond the EU have voiced concerns, especially those that perform vital roles like emergency services, finance, and defense.

Apple confirmed in an advice document that these agencies had contacted them in an attempt to get guarantees about their capacity to prevent sideloading on iPhones purchased by the government. Citing security and legal concerns, a number of authorities have announced intentions to prohibit sideloading on any devices under their supervision.

An EU government agency stated that it is dependent on Apple and the App Store for thorough app screening and that it is unable to devote resources to the assessment and approval of apps for its devices. Apple emphasized the importance of trust and security in the app ecosystem, even if it did not provide the precise number or locations of the agencies in question.

This comes as businesses like Epic Games and Spotify Technology continue to examine Apple’s App Store policies. Alleging anticompetitive activity that impedes innovation and restricts customer choice, these companies have long protested Apple’s commissions and limitations.

The IT community is keeping a careful eye on Apple as it gets ready to enforce these regulatory changes, wondering how it would affect customers, app developers, and the larger digital economy. The future of mobile technology and digital commerce is being shaped by the ongoing argument over app store policy, even as the DMA strives to encourage fairness and competition.

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