‘Web Distribution’: Apple’s Alarming New Feature for iOS Users

is stepping forward with a new initiative enabling iOS apps to be downloaded directly from websites. This significant move, integrated into the most recent – iOS 17.4, is targeted primarily for users in Europe.

Web Distribution: A new Apple feature

The innovative feature, known as “Web Distribution”, is slated for with a software update in the spring. This development is not a random shift in Apple's policy; instead, it aligns with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new piece of European legislation.

Strict Norms for App Developers

Developers hoping to utilize this method of app distribution are expected to adhere to a set of stringent guidelines.

  • They are required to establish an official organization in the .
  • Registration in the Apple Developer program is mandatory.
  • They must have maintained membership in the program for a minimum of two years.
  • An app with upwards of a million annual installations already in their portfolio is a prerequisite.
  • Distribution of apps only from their developer account is a binding commitment.
  • They are obliged to respond to communications from Apple.
  • Publishing clear data collection policies is compulsory.
  • Developers are responsible for addressing government requests.
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User-friendly Process for Consumers

The update does not impose any complicated procedures on the users. Enabling sideloading is as straightforward as approving the developer in the iOS settings. This new approach not only simplifies the process but also allows users to access a wider range of apps directly from the developer's website.

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