In a first, iOS 17 is set to take iPhones where they have never been before

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Apple iOS 17 update is likely to be announced during the WWDC 2023 event in June. So far, several leaksters have indicated what the next iOS update will bring to iPhone users. Major changes are expected to the Control Center, Focus Mode filters, Siri, notifications, Custom Accessibility, active widgets, CarKey, camera app, always-on-display, and a lot more. And over and above everything else and for the first time ever, iOS 17 update will allow ‘sideloading of apps.’

This long-awaited feature, which has been available on Android, PC, and MacOS, would finally be allowed for iPhone users. They will be allowed to download apps from sources other than Apple’s official App Store. Currently, the iPhone ecosystem is a closed system, restricting users to only download apps from Apple’s App Store. This new update would enable users to download apps from external sources, marking a significant shift in the way iPhone users access applications.

However, as confirmed by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, it will be available only in the European Union (EU) in the initial phase.

Why Apple is bringing sideloading of apps on iPhones

For a long time, Apple has believed that enabling sideloading would compromise the security of its ecosystem and leave iPhone users vulnerable to malware, scams, and other forms of hacking. A few years back, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook even mentioned that sideloading of apps would “destroy the security of the iPhone.” Android is held up as an example of how things can go wrong.

Now, to comply with the new European regulations, Apple is planning to introduce sideloading support. The new European regulations have compelled Apple to take action. The Digital Markets Act of the European Union, set to take effect in 2024, represents a significant overhaul of the EU’s digital regulations. It mandates that big tech firms open up their services and platforms to other developers, providing users with the option to download apps from diverse sources.

Will it be applicable to other countries? There is no information yet on whether Apple will bring sideloading of apps to iPhones in countries other than Europe.

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