iOS 17.5 Beta 2 Introduces App Downloads From Websites for EU Users

App Store icon

iOS 17.4 introduced users in the EU to the ability to install apps from alternative app stores, but it still lacked the functionality for users to sideload apps directly from a developer’s website. With the release of iOS 17.5 Beta 2, Apple has thankfully added this functionality, providing users with another way to download apps on their iPhones.

To use Web Distribution, users now need to grant permission to developers before they can install apps from their websites. Apple emphasizes that this method is secure and protects user privacy. Additionally, every app being distributed must undergo Apple’s notarization process to ensure security.

When a user in the EU tries to install an app via Web Distribution, they will see a brief overview of the app, including the app’s name, developer, screenshots, and other basic information, similar to an App Store page.

While this method allows developers to bypass Apple’s 30% cut of app sales via the App Store, it comes with a set of restrictions. For instance, developers must have had at least 1 million installs in the EU in the prior year to be eligible. Furthermore, developers will need to accept the new App Store business terms, meaning they will have to pay the Core Technology Fee of €0.50 for each install over one million.

Although this is a step in the right direction, there are still ways to go, as Apple is still limiting the feature to the EU and is complicating the process when compared to sideloading apps on Android.

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