back to article Official: EU users can swerve App Store and download iOS apps from the web

Apple is turning on Web Distribution for iOS apps, allowing EU users to download applications directly from developer websites. The update applies only to users in the European Union (EU) and, when you upgrade to iOS 17.5 beta 2, it opens up APIs "that facilitate the distribution of developers' apps from the web, integrate …

  1. Zibob Bronze badge

    Freedom at last!

    Oh you can have it on a website, asking as that site is tied to your dev account, our approved list, our transaction systems and conforms to.our app store guidelines.

    Rrrriiiiiiigiggghhhhhrtttttttt....

    Eu, back to the table, bigger stick, harder hits aim for the head.

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: Freedom at last!

      Darn. I came here to ask if the lifetime killing DRM is still present. Looks like it is.

      Nonsense landfill-ware. Get back in the dirt hole with you, iPhone.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Freedom at last!

        iPhone landfill-ware?

        It's not the most idiotic comment I've seen here. But you better hope that post doesn't get deleted.

        1. karlkarl Silver badge

          Re: Freedom at last!

          Why? What what was that other comment?

          "You can fix iPhones and the DRM server is still up for old models, so no need to fill up landfill sites with them"..... ?

          Yep. Pretty idiotic. That one won't be beaten any time soon. Every part of it is wrong.

          Now, you should get back to trying to sideload your internal enterprise apps on your landfill-phone. You will need all the time you can get.

          Happy consuming kiddo! Save some space in the dirt for the rest of us ;)

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: Freedom at last!

            Ah. You can't afford an iPhone and your mum won't buy you one. Got it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Freedom at last!

        If you are of the opinion that iPhones are for landfill, I'm genuinely curious as to your opinion about Android phones in that regard? Can you elaborate?

        Whether you love, hate or are ambivalent to iPhones, it's still a pretty solid statement to say that the average iPhone is more likely to last longer (in a practical and updateable sense, at least) for the average punter than the average 'droid phone. The latter are not known, as a collective, for the longevity of their software updates, for example. iPhones are thus a bit less 'landfill' than 'droids, surely?

        (Stress on the words 'average' and 'more', so ignoring whataboutery statements like 'well, my personal phone has lasted seventy-billion years so you must be right/wrong' or 'Brand X Android phone has promised updates until 2099', etc).

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Freedom at last!

          You're asking for a sensible response from a troll. I wouldn't hold your breath.

          1. karlkarl Silver badge

            Re: Freedom at last!

            Aww did kiddo get told that his iPhone is not "cool".

            Remember that you can still recycle the cardboard box it came with at least!

            1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: Freedom at last!

              Thank you for so eloquently proving my point :D

        2. karlkarl Silver badge

          Re: Freedom at last!

          Agreed. Specific mention on "average" is useful.

          - On "average" iOS is mainly sutable for consumers due to the lack of a sustainable corporate deployment system. The DRM is intolerable for professional internal use. Consumers consume and discard more, hence landfill.

          - On "average" Android business phones can last for many years and software can work across multiple generations of the Android operating system. iOS is more limited here. Apple does this intentionally. Sure, Android's drops support but does not intentionally damage backwards compatibility. If something can't work, it does to landfill.

          - On "average" Android phones can have many parts replaced. Apple restricts this. This is fairly known. If something can't have parts fixed / replaced, it goes to landfill.

          - On "average" companies do not deploy fleets of iPhones. Why do they do this? They chose Android because provisioning is possible to be handled by a corporate manner.

          - On "average" the lifespan of a corporate phone is about 3 years (2-5). This is much longer than an average consumer phone.

          Unless you have worked in a corporate setting large enough for internal software to be developed (i.e a teenager like Lord Elpuss), you may not notice this. This is why Apple has a relatively small proportion of the market because it simply can't provide the features required by a larger fraction of the market.

          Don't get me wrong... All phones are fairly crap from a longevity standpoint (A ThinkPad can last 10+ years). Just Apple products in general don't quite stand the test of time so well. And this is by design. Not a fantastic culture but it earns the company money for now.

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: Freedom at last!

            It's a good troll :)))

            1. karlkarl Silver badge

              Re: Freedom at last!

              Nah. A good troll would be stating that all Apple products belong in the landfill dirt. Along with Steve Jobs himself (RIP).

              1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

                Re: Freedom at last!

                Ah well. At least your posts are being upvoted by all your friends.

  2. Forget It
    Thumb Up

    Time ticking also for

    Microsoft Edge on Windows

    When will the uninstall option drop?

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Time ticking also for

      I bought a new laptop a fortnight ago and it came with Win11. My initial settings procedure included disabling as much telemetry as possible, and uninstalling Edge (included in the removing all bundled crapware part) . Didn't have any problem with that...

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Time ticking also for

      Yes, not being able to remove something is exactly the same kind of issue as not being able to install any competitor to that thing. There's a minor difference in scale involved. As long as I can still install Firefox, set it as default, and ignore Edge, it's not a big deal to me. Yes, the links in the settings will still open Edge, which is annoying. However, I have a recommendation to you. Don't click them. Even if they open in Firefox, they don't send you anywhere remotely useful.

      IOS's lack of choice is actually a lack of choice. Microsoft's preinstallation doesn't prevent you from choosing something else freely, nor does it make it harder to do so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time ticking also for

        Re: Edge

        If only it were that simple. Windows keeps trying to trick people into make Edge the default browser, little begging messages even when you've already told it "no", easy to accidentally click on buttons which give them what they so desperately want, slyly worded messages trying to imply Edge is the only way to go... Yes, as a vigilant IT person I haven't yet fallen for it but many people I know who installed something like Firefox have found themselves using Edge without really meaning to.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Time ticking also for

          Edge - thankfully - is not MSIE, but being a Chrome port isn't much better these days

    3. sabroni Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Microsoft Edge on Windows

      Oh No! Is someone being mean about Apple?

      DISTRACT!! DISTRACT!!!!

  3. JessicaRabbit

    I don't see how this is really any different from just distributing through the app store.

    1. FF22

      It's different in that it's harder, most costly, and because of that no developer will offer it, and no iPhone user will actually do it. As designed an intended by Apple. Hopefully the EU will hit them with a fine in the billions.

      1. T-Rex Neb

        If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

        To say that Apple is monopolistic and anti-competitive is complete horse puckey. Apple's share of the mobile phone market as of Mar 24, is 28.46%. It's share of the smartphone market is even less at 24.7% (CAO 4Q23). Heaven forfend they gatekeep access to the App Store, and charge 30% for the privilege of selling on it. Nobody's forcing you to make apps for the iPhone, and nobody's forcing you to buy an iPhone (and most people don't). Thank goodness for over-weening gov't regulators putting their sweaty hands on the scales of commerce.

        1. codejunky Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

          @T-Rex Neb

          "It's share of the smartphone market is even less at 24.7% (CAO 4Q23)"

          Well said. It amazes me how people seem to see these companies as monopolies but fail to see the government as one. Apple controls less than 30% share of the market it fights for and the government controls almost 100% of the market it forces to take over. But a regulator must find work somewhere to justify its existence

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

            Governments are supposed to have monopolies on some things, like making laws or sentencing people to prison. That's what we're going for. So yes, well spotted, they tend to be one. Of course, when we see a government trying to have a monopoly or even get involved in something we don't want them to, we complain and try to prevent that from happening, just like we complain when Apple tries to. I'd say our track record on getting results is higher for governments than it is for Apple, though not dramatically.

            1. Justthefacts Silver badge

              Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

              No, you don’t get to do that. In this case, the EU government is enforcing by law a very specific monopoly, and removal of consumer choice.

              It is enforcing “All OS sold must have exact feature parity with Android. If it has any features that Android doesn’t have, those features must be removed. It must be architecturally identical to Android. If you have written your phone OS to locate the API between browser and OS in a slightly different location to Android, then you must rewrite your software to make it so. Also, physical features of your phone, if you have chosen even a fractionally different engineering tradeoff between eg water ingress and external interfaces…..reverse that. You must make an *exact copy* of the standard Android phone, in all ways software and hardware”.

              “And, if after all that enforcement….you can make the exact identical indistinguishable phone, and somehow make more than break even profit on it, which currently only one out of 8 major manufacturers manage….then you must pay an additional €8bn every year to the EU Commission. Call it a fine, call it a tax, don’t care. Quite why you’d want to remain in a market, where all profits are negative, we have no idea. Sell fifty million phones a year to this “super-valuable” market segment, and your customers get a phone out of it, but you make a loss…well, sounds good to us!”

              Now *that* is a monopoly. Why isn’t Motorola one of the largest major global phone manufacturers any more? They used to be. Why isn’t Nokia? They used to be. Why isn’t Alcatel? They used to be. Don’t you get it? The EU protectionist monopoly policies destroyed them. It’s subtle and long-term, and if you don’t understand it, you’ll always point to other factors. But the truth is, it’s the EU. Just as EU is now destroying Volkswagen, by “protecting” them. In twenty years time, VW will be a minor player if they still exist. BYD will be ten times larger. And you won’t understand why *that* happened either. You’ll spout some variant of “China very bad men”. But it’s not. It’s really not. It’s what happens when you have protectionist monopolies. They die in their own little ghetto.

              1. Casca Silver badge

                Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                LMAO, sure...

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Casca Silver badge

            Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

            You know what happen when government dont have 100% control? Civil war. But with your history in the comments I'm not suprised you want that.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

              @Casca

              "You know what happen when government dont have 100% control? Civil war. But with your history in the comments I'm not suprised you want that."

              Really? You believe that? When the government has 100% control that would be closer to the USSR, N.Korea, Communist China, etc. Where the monopoly power tries to grasp control of everything.

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

            Carmakers hold even less individual share of their respective markets but if they attempted the same vendor lockin tactics as Apple they'd face even stricter regulation than they already do

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

          Apple's market share fell from 24% to 17% as of last quarter. Apple always peaks when new phones are released and then is significantly less the other three quarters. At most Apple is 20% of the worldwide smartphone market, though I'm sure it is above the worldwide average in the EU.

        3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

          It always surprises me that on a site like the Register, where the commenterati is (presumably) of above-average intelligence due to the technical nature of the site, common sense comments like yours always attract so many downvotes from people who don't even bother to back up their downvote with a justification.

          Apple are not the only option in the market; far from it. They do not have a monopoly position. They DO have a product which requires certain safeguards in order to maintain quality and revenue stream. They're entitled to take these measures.

          It's that simple. And yet you state that here, on this otherwise intelligent website, and the comments section will accuse you of being a corporate shill and shred you with downvotes.

          1. Cruachan

            Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

            :sigh:

            This argument comes up every time Apple are in the firing line and it's not accurate. Apple's market share is irrelevant, what is relevant is that they have 100% control of how software gets on to iOS devices and that IS a monopoly, hence why this legislation explicitly only applies to the app store and the provision of alternatives to it.

            Microsoft are by far the dominant player on the desktop/laptop OS market, but they don't have a monopoly on software distribution. Google are the dominant player on the phone/tablet OS market, but they allow installation of apps from sources that they do not control.

            1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

              "Apple's market share is irrelevant"

              Dear oh dear.

              1. Cruachan

                Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                Making an argument like you did above about downvotes with no comments, I'd expect an actual explanation of why you think I am incorrect as opposed to this flippant nonsense.

                1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

                  Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                  Because market share is absolutely relevant, in the context of whether a government agency should intervene in a company's sales practices. Anybody who doesn't realize this needs to have their head examined.

                  1. Cruachan

                    Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                    That would be true if you were looking at the right market, but you are equating Apples with Oranges. Apple do not have 100% of the smartphone market and have not been restricted in that market. They DO have 100% of the application installation, distribution and in-app purchasing market within their own platform which is there they HAVE been restricted and ordered to open up distribution to app developers.

                    I stand by what I said. In terms of the overall smartphone market (I.e. sales of devices), Apple's share is irrelevant.

                    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

                      Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                      Your first paragraph is correct.

                      Your second is not.

            2. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

              So how much of the smartphone market share does Apple have to have for "software for the iPhone" to be a market that requires regulation? Apparently having ~20% is enough for some to believe that's justified.

              What if they had only 10%? Or 5%? Or 1%? If Apple sold 1000 iPhones a year, and only allowed Apple approved software to be installed would you still say that Apple should be required to open it up? Where's the line?

              Should LG be required to allow "third party app stores" on its smart TVs? Should Sony be required to do that for the PS5? Why smartphones and not TVs or consoles?

        4. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

          Apple's share of the mobile phone market as of Mar 24, is 28.46%

          Now compare against other manufacturers.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

            @Dan 55

            "Now compare against other manufacturers."

            Why?

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

              In less than the time it takes for you to spend the rest of day trying to make some kind of contrarian libertarian point, you could have summoned up a ranked table of market share by smartphone manufacturer and seen the answer for yourself.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                If you only have 20-30% of the market then you aren't a monopoly -

                > the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service.

                > "the state's monopoly of radio and television broadcasting"

                Now if you redefine the "commodity or service" to being supplying apps for iOS devices, then yes it's a monopoly.

                But at that point you're just redefining the market to be "You're the only person who sells here", and there are monopolies all over.

                1. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                  From the point of view of an individual consumer, Apple's market is a monopoly or irrelevant. It is not the same as a single store. When someone buys an iPhone, they become unable to choose another store unless they replace it. If one store offers something, they generally don't get to lock me in there and tell me that, even though there is another store selling the same thing across the road, I can't use any products from their store with any products from that store.

                  As for the smartphone market as a whole, while it's not the one the law is talking about, Apple have an oligopoly position. Market regulators usually also regulate those. The laws are usually written specifically to let them. The reason is that, when a market has two real competitors in it and they start to adopt suspiciously similar terms (Apple and Google have a lot of the same terms in their store agreements), then there's not much difference from a normal monopoly. So they also get to regulate the phone operating system market under those rules, such as, for one example I'm just randomly picking out of the air, rules on app distribution that apply to all OSes for mobile phones.

              2. codejunky Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                @Dan 55

                "In less than the time it takes for you to spend the rest of day trying to make some kind of contrarian libertarian point, you could have summoned up a ranked table of market share by smartphone manufacturer and seen the answer for yourself."

                You seem confused, you seem to care about a ranked table of market share while failing to produce one. I dont care about a ranked table and I ask the valid question of why it would matter.

                You could have answered instead of your silly response to provide something only you care about that doesnt seem relevant. Wouldnt that take less time?

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                  It's entirely relevant as they are first. But I think you can Google it for yourself just like I did.

                  1. John Robson Silver badge

                    Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                    Being first doesn't make you a monopoly.

                    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                      Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                      It does make you a gatekeeper though.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                        @Dan 55

                        "It does make you a gatekeeper though."

                        So by your reasoning whoever is first in whatever is a gatekeeper? It just doesnt make sense. People are free to choose, Apple offer this as part of buying an Apple. It is the point. It is a feature. It differentiates them from their competition in a competitive market. Complaining everyone should be dumbed down and conform to the same bland and uniform set of features, just because some people actually choose something different, doesnt make sense.

                        I say this as someone who avoids apple because I dont want that. But I get that it is a feature for those who freely choose it. I dont get the obsession with penalising success.

                        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                          Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                          It's not penalising success, it's about ensuring market leaders don't lock out competitors so that they too can succeed and therefore ensuring customers have a choice.

                          Saying that Apple only has 28% of the market therefore shouldn't be regulated as the other poster argued is missing the point. Obviously coming first will get you gatekeeper status, that doesn't mean everyone else will not get gatekeeper status, it applies to any corporation which is big enough to meet the gatekeeper definition and is therefore potentially big enough to use their market position to lock out competitors.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                            @Dan 55

                            "it's about ensuring market leaders don't lock out competitors so that they too can succeed and therefore ensuring customers have a choice."

                            And with only 28% you believe they can do that? When 72% of the market is not Apple. This isnt a gatekeeper stopping success, this is success and green eyes interfering. Customers obviously have a choice and, as successful as Apple are, mostly choose alternatives.

                            "Saying that Apple only has 28% of the market therefore shouldn't be regulated as the other poster argued is missing the point"

                            If it is T-Rex Neb I think he said 24.7% of the market and I dont see him saying Apple shouldnt be regulated. If I understand him right its that Apple should be regulated just like the others in the market and not be over-regulated by interfering gov regulators.

                            "Obviously coming first will get you gatekeeper status, that doesn't mean everyone else will not get gatekeeper status,"

                            In some situations such as patents and trademarks the system is intentionally designed that way to get a return on investment for something that can be easily replicated by others. Thats why people laughed at Apple over the idea of restricting rounded corners. But being first does not generally make you a gatekeeper and so what we have improves and advances.

                            "it applies to any corporation which is big enough to meet the gatekeeper definition and is therefore potentially big enough to use their market position to lock out competitors."

                            Gatekeeper regulation started in 2024. Thats this year. And Apple with 24 or 28 or even 30% of the market is supposed to be a gatekeeper? I lifted this from wiki-

                            They are also known as "gatekeepers" due to the "durable" market position in some digital sectors and because they also meet certain criteria related to the number of users, their turnovers, or capitalisation.

                            That in its very description is to penalise success. Nothing about how it is successful or blocking others only that it has a pot of money and the gov wants it. And for some reason some know little government bureaucrats want to tell Apple how to run its business and to remove a feature that contributed to its success!

                            Sounds to me a lot like the car mechanic claiming he can do dentistry better than the dentist, so should be telling the dentist how do do his job.

                            1. John Robson Silver badge

                              Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                              I've not said they shouldn't be regulated... but monopolies legislation is not the appropriate tool in this case.

                              If you want to insist that all electronic devices allow you to install your own OS and software then do that - I don't imagine it would fly though.

                            2. Dan 55 Silver badge
                              Facepalm

                              Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                              Do you really need to tell me you what would happen if the first, second, third, and fourth manufacturers were all big enough to use their market position to lock everyone else out?

                              Ye gods.

                              1. codejunky Silver badge

                                Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

                                @Dan 55

                                "Do you really need to tell me you what would happen if the first, second, third, and fourth manufacturers were all big enough to use their market position to lock everyone else out?"

                                So not monopoly but oligopoly. Except this is about a feature (the walled garden of apps) that is a feature of just Apple, so not an oligopoly situation. So you are gonna have to somehow explain your position which so far doesnt seem to justify additional regulation to penalise success. Your hypothetical proposed situation doesnt seem to be the real world situation, so yes please do explain.

        5. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: If people want to side load crap onto their phone, they can buy an Android

          It depends on the country, it varies from about 16% in Poland to 56% in Sweden.

    2. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      €0.50 or 30%? The break-even is at €1.67

      1. fPuck

        Plus the $99 a year developer account fee, which even FOSS developers will have to pay, even if they're hosting the app themselves.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Plus the Core Technology Danegeld.

          There's no way a app "store" like F-Droid could exist on iPhone, the fees prohibit it.

  4. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Where is the EU in this?

    I can’t help noticing that the EU has been completely silent about these terms and conditions that non-App store devs must agree too

    Why are they not jumping on Apple and forcing them to not take the piss before this all comes into being?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Where is the EU in this?

      They may have to wait until they are actually put into action, or until someone complains. Then they can investigate and see if what Apple is doing follows the letter of the law/regulation or not. If it does (and I have a feeling Apple's lawyers read the regulations really carefully before they came up with this) they'll need to change them to get Apple to change what they're doing.

    2. skwdenyer

      Re: Where is the EU in this?

      What precisely is wrong with Apple’s approach? I purchase Apple phones precisely because there is some gate-keeping going on, some measure of control and accountability. I don’t want or need my phone (a core communications device) to be a software free-for-all. I don’t want my phone to be abandoned or forced to upgrade hardware just to upgrade my OS. If I wanted that I’d be free to buy an Android phone! I’m delighted that Apple’s developer costs provide the revenue required to maintain support for my investment in Apple hardware.

      I just fired up my wife’s old HTC U11 as I needed a spare phone for a project. Bought in 2018, it is abandoned now. No OS updates beyond Android 9. Hardly usable. Totally insecure. By contrast, my iPhone XS bought the same year is still usable, still receiving software updates, still a valuable tool.

      As an aside, the U11 also now needs a replacement USB C port. I’ve never had a Lightning port fail. Standardisation is lowest common denominator for no benefit at all.

      That is what the “Apple tax” is paying for. That’s what those who seek to unpick Apple’s position don’t seem to grasp. I’m not a victim, nor are most Apple phone users; we choose to buy into an ecosystem that rewards us with long-term support, continuing access to apps, and a great ROI.

      All that support costs money. I want Apple to be profitable supporting my hardware purchase, because the alternative is designed-in obsolescence to force me to buy new hardware.

      I’m not against freedom. I run MacOS & various flavours of Linux on desktops precisely so that I can have the freedom to write, download, compile and run whatever I like.

      I just wish there wasn’t this incessant urge to “save” people from freely-made choices. Let me buy into a walled garden if I wish, so long as I do it knowingly.

      1. Casca Silver badge

        Re: Where is the EU in this?

        Good of you to compare to completely different phone price points...

      2. Tomi Tank

        Re: Where is the EU in this?

        >> What precisely is wrong with Apple’s approach?

        Because it is all about the money and that is distasteful.

      3. fPuck

        Re: Where is the EU in this?

        Where did the app store touch you? Show us on the doll.

        Seriously, who is forcing (or even suggesting) you to install any 3rd party store or app? If you want the walled garden, just keep using your iPhone in exactly the same way you already are. For those who want to go outside the walled garden, they have to explicitly seek it out, so how does this affect you?

        1. Casca Silver badge

          Re: Where is the EU in this?

          Maybe he has a problem with temptation and cant handle it?

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: Where is the EU in this?

            Grow up.

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Where is the EU in this?

          The problem will come if apps are offered on alternative app stores ONLY. Then you have to decide "do I want that app enough to take a risk that it is going to do something shady trying to steal data, or make my phone unstable, or waste battery or whatever?" Apple's governance of the App Store isn't perfect, but I trust them way more than I'd trust Facebook to operate an app store distributing the Facebook app - they wouldn't have to abide by Apple's rules about tracking, for instance.

          So it isn't just about "you are free to keep using your iPhone the same way and nothing will change" because things WOULD change if Apple was forced to open up. Maybe not if it is just the EU, but if it was the US and maybe enough other places that Apple basically made the changes worldwide instead of just limited to a region. Then some developers see $$$ and decide to go off to third party app stores that charge less and/or put fewer restrictions on what they can do and now my iPhone has become an inferior product because I don't have the choice I did before.

          1. fPuck

            Re: Where is the EU in this?

            If the developer is comfortable putting their app on a shady store, why would you trust the app? If an app you want moves to a store you don't trust, tell them you want it on a store you do trust. There are plenty of apps that are only available on Android or only on iOS, you don't buy the other phone just to get that app, do you?

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: Where is the EU in this?

              Who says it would be a "shady store"? If Facebook decided they don't like Apple's rules about tracking they enforce in the App Store, they could create a Facebook app store that is the only place to get the Facebook app and Whatsapp, and do all in the app tracking Apple does not allow.

              Then your choice is either give up using their products (you might give up Facebook but I understand Whatsapp is pretty heavily used in the EU since they don't use iMessage there like people like me in the US do) or download from their store. Maybe Musk does the same for Twitter, Google decides to get on board because who loves tracking their users more than Google, and pretty soon you become used to the idea of having to install yet another app store when you want a new app. Even finding those apps would get to be a pain, you'd have to use internet search to find them instead of searching on the App Store like today.

              That sounds like a much worse user experience to me, even if there were no "shady app stores" involved.

              1. fPuck

                Re: Where is the EU in this?

                I think you may have misunderstood Apple's marketing a little. Facebook isn't blocked from tracking you on iOS, they just have to ask first through a popup (which uses a dark pattern to make you think "allow" is the default) which Apple only introduced after the GDPR passed. Apple can also still require Facebook to do this through their API. Remember, we're talking about device tracking, no tracking within Facebook, they do that on their servers, there's nothing Apple can do about that.

                1. DS999 Silver badge

                  Re: Where is the EU in this?

                  I think you're the one who has misunderstood. The tracking change Apple made that upset Facebook so much was to require asking permission before tracking user's activities across other companies apps and websites. That's all it is - permission. Apple has no way of stopping it or even knowing if they are complying because that's something that takes place ENTIRELY off device, but if Apple finds out they aren't complying today there is a "death penalty" enforcement mechanism available of kicking the app off the App Store.

                  If Facebook was made available on third party app stores that choose not to require permission for that kind of tracking, Apple's enforcement mechanism is not available and they can do nothing to prevent Facebook going back to their old ways of tracking activity across other apps / websites.

                  Now the EU, through the GDPR, would have penalties they could use against Facebook (assuming they found out and could prove it) but here in the US we have no such protections.

                  1. fPuck

                    Re: Where is the EU in this?

                    Again, that requirement was added because of the GDPR, which 3rd party store also have to follow. Apple can even force them to follow it. You seem to think these 3rd party stores will just be running unfettered in their own little corner of the OS, they'll all have to use Apple's APIs, meaning they can still dictate how the apps on them work just as they do on the App Store..

  5. Ordinary Donkey

    Not a bad start

    Now if you didn't need a google account to install android apps in a virtual android machine that would be great.

    Yes, I know about f-droid but I want the company producing them to verify they're real. Things involving money.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not a bad start

      i) talk about Google not Apple

      ii) talk about development not consumer use

      iii) despite your comment having fuck all relation to the OP, go off on an incomprehensible tangent in your second line

      Agreed. As trolls go that isn't a bad start.

    2. skwdenyer

      Re: Not a bad start

      Who do you want to do that verification?

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: Not a bad start

        The company producing the app. They have a web portal for some of their services but not all, let me download it from there after logging in.

  6. Herring`

    The developer must also have an app that has had more than one million first annual installs in the EU in the prior calendar year

    So before you make your app available, you need have had 1,000,000 people already install it?

  7. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

    Imagine if Microsoft or IBM asked you to pay a bribe ("core technology fee") to allow you to develop an app for Windows or RHEL and offer it on your website.

    1. Casca Silver badge

      This is aPple who cant do anything wrong according to some.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Both IBM and Microsoft ask you to pay a fee to use their frameworks if they won't recoup revenue any other way. IBM earned more than $1.7bn last year from technology framework subscriptions, which is essentially the same thing as a Core Technology Fee.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        "IBM earned more than $1.7bn last year from technology framework subscriptions, which is essentially the same thing as a Core Technology Fee."

        No, it's not. I can use a language of my choice, compile for IBM's or Microsoft's operating systems, get a binary that runs on them, run it, distribute it, and sell it, all without having to pay them. Apple's not charging for technology. They're charging for the right to let their users obtain and run it. I have been an Apple user. I am not Apple's to sell.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Visual Studio Express or Visual Studio Community Edition or MinGW on Windows: Total cost £0.00.

        gcc on RHEL 9 with Individual Developer Subscription: Total cost £0.00.

  8. JulieM Silver badge

    Fair enough

    This is fair enough.

    A modern mobile phone is a small general-purpose computer. And if I own a general-purpose computer, the absolute bare minimum I expect is the ability to run programs written by me, or someone I trust, on it.

    Because I was around in the 1980s, and that was exactly what you got then: you bought your "general-purpose computer" from somewhere like W.H.Smith or Boots, took it home, plugged it into your TV and cassette recorder, switched it on and it booted straight into the "software development kit".

    1. Plest Silver badge

      Re: Fair enough

      Thing is back in the 1980s those "general purpose computers" were isloated items that couldn't easily connect to anything else, let alone other computers, plus it required some technical ability in order to make use of them. I was one of the those, albeit just a spotty little teen back then with computing and heavy metal fetishes!

      Nowadays those general purpose computers are connected full time to the most dangerous informaiton network ever created, anyone can buy one,install programs and use it without a single idea what a line of Java , Swift or Obj-C code looks like let alone what a TCP packet is. General purpose has lead to massive appeal and general acceptance and that brings with it a wave of potential victims for the scum bags to prey on.

      While I chose to avoid Apple phones as I too don't like being told what to do with stuff I've bought, I do respect why they prefer people to stay inside their app store for their own protection, even only from their own stupidity and incompetance.

      1. Casca Silver badge

        Re: Fair enough

        Nothing is stopping them from still staying inside the apple garden

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