Some people want Apple to let users download sideloaded apps. These are apps that can be installed outside of the App Store, like the current situation on macOS. One counter argument is security:

“It’s not that iOS is full of holes,” he said, but that “the App Store is a natural second layer that [Apple] can filter through and decide if something would be harmful.” He agreed it wasn’t foolproof, but that it can help screen out “undesirable” apps.

My worry with sideloaded apps isn’t about the device security itself. It’s that Apple probably couldn’t control what goes on inside these apps, like SDKs that harvest our data, or developers only letting people use non-private logins like Facebook and Google. I want to use technologies like Sign In with Apple and Apple Pay, because I trust Apple with my data. To be fair, App Store apps already use trackers. As a side note, I’m linking to Apple News because of Engadget/Verizon’s new consent form when you visit the website.

Check It Out: What Would Happen if Apple Was Forced to Allow Sideloaded Apps?

One Comment Add a comment

  1. W. Abdullah Brooks, MD


    An important topic with a thoughtful reference article.

    In answer to your question, what would happen if Apple were forced to allow sideloaded apps, given everything we know, nothing good. At least, no discernible direct benefit for the consumer, but substantial risk to privacy and security, in other words, a non-satisfactory benefit/risk ratio; but for the competition, increased cash flow with no downside.

    An ethically challenged proposition, at best.

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