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In a bulletin to developers on Tuesday, Apple shared some striking news: Later this spring, authorized developers will be able to distribute their iOS apps to EU users from the developer’s website itself.

It’s a dramatic shift from the norm for Apple Inc., in addition to other dramatic shifts the European Commission has forced the company to adopt. Not only will developers have the option to sell their apps on app stores of their own making, bypassing Apple’s official App Store, they will be able to share these apps directly. It’s a form of what’s known as sideloading—the ability to download apps to your phone outside an official app store. Until this year, the idea was virtually unthinkable on an iPhone without needing to jailbreak the device first.

Of course, this is Apple we’re talking about, so the company will retain some control here. Apple will distribute multiple APIs to authorized developers to properly roll out this function: These APIs will enable app downloads from the web, integrate app downloads with other iOS functionality, and enable backups so users can redownload purchased apps in the future, among other purposes. In addition, any app offered through this system must still meet the same Notarization requirements as the App Store, and any websites used must be registered through Apple’s App Store Connect platform. Users who want to download apps from a developer’s site will need to approve that developer in Settings first.

Not all developers can use this service, either. Apple says in order to be eligible for Web Distribution, developers must be enrolled in the Apple Developer Program and registered in the EU, and must be in the Apple Developer Program for at least two continuous years, with an app that has more than one million first annual installs on iOS in the EU in the previous calendar year. This is in addition to other miscellaneous requirements, such as only selling apps from this specific developer account, keeping in touch with Apple as it regards your apps and services, keeping transparent data collection policies and offering them to users, following the law (lol), as well as being responsive to requests to taking down app listings, should that become necessary.

Sideloading services also aren’t exempt from Apple’s “Core Technology Fee” (CTF), which it imposes on EU developers selling through third-party app stores, or, now, on the web. While the first one million installs across these platforms are free of fees, Apple says developers need to pay a CTF of €0.50 for each subsequent annual install in the past 12 months. Since you need at least one million annual installs to even join this program, these developers will owe Apple these €0.50 per install fees. That said, there is a fee waiver for nonprofits, accredited educational institutions, and EU government entities.

All that to say, this will be far from the sideloading experience users have on Android. Both developers and users will need to confront Apple-imposed friction, which has the potential to push developers towards more traditional app sales (Apple’s likely goal). However, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in the first year or so of this new platform: If Apple-directed sideloading proves succesful, there may be more of a push for it in the U.S. and other non-EU territories.

This isn’t the only change Apple shared today. In addition, third-party app stores can now offer a catalog of apps from the developer of the marketplace, and developers now have free rein over the designs when linking users out to an external purchase. Previously, Apple required developers to use the company’s proprietary templates, but these are now optional.

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