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Apple to make downloading apps to iPhone even easier: Details explained

Apple to make downloading apps to iPhone even easier: Details explained Illustrative photo (Unsplash)
Author: Maria Kholina

Apple is poised to shake up its policies across the EU, allowing certain developers to distribute their iOS apps directly through websites. This feature will be available after the release of the software update this spring, according to The Verge.

Details of the innovation

This essentially means that game and app developers will no longer be tethered to the necessity of using the App Store as their sole distribution platform. Instead, they can opt for web distribution. However, developers must adhere to stringent Apple guidelines to avail themselves of this opportunity.

According to Apple, apps distributed via web channels must comply with notarization requirements to safeguard platform integrity, akin to all iOS apps. Additionally, they can only be installed from the developer's registered domain on the App Store Connect.

Installing these apps on iPhones within EU countries will also entail a convoluted process. Users will first need to grant permission to developers through their smartphone settings. During installation, a system prompt will appear, which developers must submit to Apple for review, including details like app name, developer name, description, screenshots, and age rating.

Hence, this won't be as straightforward a process for developers as it is on the Android platform. Apple will authorize after certain criteria and ongoing requirements are met, aimed at safeguarding users, the company asserts.

Apple has also set forth additional requirements for developers wishing to distribute their apps through websites. To qualify, they must:

  • Be registered in the Apple Developer Program as a company based in the European Union.
  • Have a reputable track record as a participant in the Apple Developer Program for two or more consecutive years and have an app installed more than one million times in the previous calendar year.
  • Maintain transparent data collection policies.
  • Comply with all laws and jurisdictions in which they operate (such as the Digital Services Act, General Data Protection Regulation, and consumer protection laws).

The requirement of a good reputation for two years may exclude companies like Epic Games from benefiting from this distribution method. Nonetheless, the company hopes to launch its game store for iOS in EU countries.