Re: Epically wrong.
"You asked, so I'll answer.
"Can you access the App Store from your device?": Yes.
"Is it safe to use,": I guess so. I don't view that as a high bar, though. A lot of software is safe to use without justifying it being forced on me with mandatory payments.
No. Creating and curating a safe app environment is a lot of work, taking a lot of time and money to do right. As an example of how NOT to do it, have a look at the Google Play Store from a couple of years ago. It's better now, and you'll note that they charge the same 30% that Apple do.
"fast, reliable": Not really. Updates don't show up instantly, sometimes they don't download right and I have to press again. I've had Signal tell me that a new version is available when Apple doesn't think it's true.
Then Signal has a bug. Don't blame Apple for your app's deficiencies.
"and tailored to your preferences?": Not in the slightest. My preference would be for the old layout where the search and updates tabs were not hidden and where search would at least find the app you typed in rather than show five unrelated ads and go into the results list organized with bogosort.
I'll kind of give you this, although if the app you're looking for is in the Store, it'll be shown up top. If not, Apple will suggest others (with varying degrees of success) that it thinks might match what you're looking for. Bear in mind most users don't know the exact name of the app they're looking for, so nonexact matching is a valid methodology.
"Are the apps themselves curated and high quality?": No. They're just what was sent in. A lot of crap apps are there. Apple only tries to keep out active malware and stuff that competes with theirs.
Flat out wrong. Points for trolling though.
"Can you install them without having to learn what sideloading means?": By definition, yes, but the implied argument is a tautology. People on Windows can manage to install software without having to learn the word sideloading, so it doesn't seem to be a problem. I could as easily say that sideloading should be the only mechanism because then you wouldn't have to learn how the store app works, but that would be just as weak."