What's the news: Apple is working on allowing third-party app stores and sideloading (downloading and installing of apps from outside the official App Store, like from the browser directly) on iPhones and iPads in the EU from 2024 to comply with the new laws that are expected to go into effect there, Bloomberg reported on 14 December. Why does this matter: This change will be the most significant overhaul to App Store policies since it launched in 2008. The inability of developers to bypass the App Store to reach iOS users has been one of the top concerns for developers along with the high commissions charged by Apple. While this change might first take place in the EU, it will likely expand to other regions given that many countries around the world are investigating or looking to regulate app stores, including India. Will it actually help developers: Google's Android already allows third-party app stores and sideloading. The Play Store remains the most coveted channel for developers to reach Android users given that it is preloaded on all Android devices and users are already familiar with it and trust it. With iOS, familiarity and trust with App Store is even more ingrained among iPhone users. This raises if the question of whether allowing third-party app stores and sideloading will practically benefit developers or it will only appease regulators. Will developers be able to avoid Apple's commissions: On Android, side-loaded apps and apps downloaded from third-party stores don't have to pay Google any commission, but…
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