New EU law could force Apple to allow sideloading

Daniel Sims

Posts: 518   +20
Staff
In brief: The European Union has come one step closer to passing a law that would apply sweeping new rules to the operators of the biggest tech platforms. One would force platform holders like Apple to let users download apps from third-party sources.

Last week, the European Council and European Parliament came to a provisional agreement on the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The agreement lays out definitions for digital "gatekeepers," who would have to follow new rules regarding advertising, messaging apps, and digital storefronts.

The DMA defines a gatekeeper as a platform with an annual turnover of at least 7.5 billion Euros (around $8.2 billion) within the last three years or a market valuation of 75 billion Euros (around $82 billion). The company must also have at least 45 million monthly end-users in the EU, 10,000 EU business users, and control of at least one "core platform service" in three or more EU countries.

Any platform falling under that definition would have to let users install software outside the platform operator's official app store, whether through sideloading or third-party storefronts. Google already allows sideloading on Android devices. Apple has fiercely defended iOS's walled garden since it entered a lengthy legal battle with Epic Games, wherein Epic has argued for allowing sideloading on iOS.

Platform holders like Google and Apple would also be required to allow for alternate payment methods under the DMA, which is already starting to happen due to legislation in countries like the Netherlands and South Korea. Additionally, they would not be allowed to use personal data for targeted advertising without users' express consent. Another provision says the biggest messaging apps like iMessage, Whatsapp, or Facebook Messenger would have to feature some level of interoperability with smaller messaging apps.

The DMA will become law if the EU Parliament and Council approve it after legal checks, with the new rules applying six months later. Violations of the DMA could result in fines of 10 percent of a gatekeeper's annual global turnover. Repeat offenses could result in 20 percent fines or a temporary ban from acquiring other companies.

Permalink to story.

 

dangh

Posts: 623   +977
This one sparks joy.
The only way to allow small companies to grow and be something more than waiting to be bought, ripped, balancing on the edge. Messaging platform interoperability is great, I want to keep contact with people on WhatsApp, but why should I basically skórę this app to have full access to my private data which it takes without any way to prevent it.
Can't wait to see this law in motion.
 

bviktor

Posts: 907   +1,324
This one sparks joy.
The only way to allow small companies to grow and be something more than waiting to be bought, ripped, balancing on the edge. Messaging platform interoperability is great, I want to keep contact with people on WhatsApp, but why should I basically skórę this app to have full access to my private data which it takes without any way to prevent it.
Can't wait to see this law in motion.

Apparently you didn't get the memo, this *diotic proposal will loosen regulations on apps, not tighten them.

Horrible initiative from any perspective. We already had this "experiment" with Windows, all it gave us was endless waves of malware. 30 years later still going strong. Now they wanna force Apple to let that happen. How great.

Dear EU lawmakers! Please kindly GTFO and leave iOS alone. I like it BECAUSE of the restrictions it imposes on app makers, not DESPITE of them. I want a mobile phone where the apps are safe, I don't need the Windows way where every exe I download need to be scanned for viruses (with varying scanner reliability), because any random script kiddie can put up their ransomware or whatever cr@p for some easy money.

If you want to have alternative stores, use an Android device, or make your own OS, I couldn't care less. Leave my phone alone.

This whole debacle is about greedy developers (read: Epic Games) not wanting to put up with the 30% store fee. Well guess what, developing such an OS, vetting all those apps and updates, and running that ginormous infrastructure is not free, so STFU and pay up, or make a better store for yourself.

Did I happen to mention that the Epic Store is still losing money (we're talking about several hundred million dollars), and they don't expect it to break even before 2024? So yeah, Mr. Sweeney, it's easier said than done, apparently.

And the worst part is that they pretend this is a "pro-consumer" move. No, not in the slightest. I can't think of a SINGLE thing that this would bring to the table for me.
 
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bviktor

Posts: 907   +1,324
Good.

Finally will be something I can thank the EU lawmakers for (as it should also propagate to North America).
What's good about it? What will you win, besides unvetted stores filled with malware, and total lack of policing and control over your apps?

Will your existing apps work better if they come from a different store? Or do you just want to pirate apps? Or do you fear Epic Games will go bankrupt with that 30% store fee? Poor poor Epic Games. What's the use case for an alternate store on your mobile device, seriously?

All that an alternate store encourages and allows for is bad actors.


Which part of these protections the App Store provides to us, users do you wanna get rid of and why?
 
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psycros

Posts: 4,245   +6,070
What's good about it? What will you win, besides unvetted stores filled with malware, and total lack of policing and control over your apps?

Will your existing apps work better if they come from a different store? Or do you just want to pirate apps? Or do you fear Epic Games will go bankrupt with that 30% store fee? Poor poor Epic Games. What's the use case for an alternate store on your mobile device, seriously?


Which part of these protections the App Store provides to us, users do you wanna get rid of?

How about having access to apps that Apple refuses to allow on its store? Or access to stores that are just *better*, which wouldn't be much a leap.
 

bviktor

Posts: 907   +1,324
How about having access to apps that Apple refuses to allow on its store?

I don't care about such apps. Those requirements are there for a reason. 9 million other developers figured it out, so can you.

If you can't develop an app that adheres to developer guidelines, I definitely don't want to put my trust in you, and you most definitely better off doing something else. Those rules are to protect the USER, precisely from the DEVELOPERS, who are for-profit entities and often don't care about user rights in the slightest. That's why we need Apple to draw a line.

Like those poor Chinese apps that want to track you despite the rules Apple set. Oh HOW MUCH I WANT THOSE APPS, I really wanna be tracked, but evil evil Apple won't let those devs do so. WTF is wrong with you?

This proposed law will allow those companies to say "heck we don't care, if you wanna use our stuff, you must use our store, where we do whatever we want with your personal data and payments, no strings attached". That's *exactly* what's happening on Android, but apparently some people will never learn.

Like some Huawei smart watches, they simply don't upload the newer versions for the companion app, they give you an APK. Which you may get from the trustworthy source, or you may not. It may be malware, who knows? No way to tell. But that app is just fine, feel free to install it! Source: trust me bro. Great approach indeed.

With APKs, obviously you can kiss goodbye to automatic updates as well. 99.99% of the time that APK version will rot on that mobile device till eternity, because the user just can't be bothered to manually download APK updates. Embrace all those security vulnerabilities that *will* be discovered in those apps. Mmmm gotta love it. Here's the list for OpenSSL, one of the most used SSL libraries in the world:


Every few months there's a vulnerability. And this is just one 3rd party component. You can have dozens, not to mention your own app will also have secholes all the time. Those need to be patched, constantly. That's not gonna happen with APKs. Ever. At this point, your device is literally begging to be hacked.

Android users are 50 times more likely to be infected by malware than Apple device users. If you don't understand the underlying problem, I don't know what else to say to you. I really can't imagine why any sane person would want to voluntarily open the floodgates. It makes absolutely no sense. It does malware devs a HUGE favor, that's all.

Or access to stores that are just *better*, which wouldn't be much a leap.

Cool story. Name ONE store that's better.
 
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CowsGotMilk

Posts: 79   +190
Horrible initiative from any perspective. We already had this "experiment" with Windows, all it gave us was endless waves of malware. 30 years later still going strong. Now they wanna force Apple to let that happen. How great.

Dear EU lawmakers! Please kindly GTFO and leave iOS alone. I like it BECAUSE of the restrictions it imposes on app makers, not DESPITE of them. I want a mobile phone where the apps are safe, I don't need the Windows way where every exe I download need to be scanned for viruses (with varying scanner reliability), because any random script kiddie can put up their ransomware or whatever cr@p for some easy money.

1. Don't worry pal about others, you can always use offcial app store on your own.
2. There were cases, when malware apps were found on offcial app stores. So no. It does not protect you at 100%.
3. Once again, it's better for everyone when people are able to choose (except the greedy Apple).
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,941   +3,798
TechSpot Elite
What's good about it? What will you win, besides unvetted stores filled with malware, and total lack of policing and control over your apps?

Will your existing apps work better if they come from a different store? Or do you just want to pirate apps? Or do you fear Epic Games will go bankrupt with that 30% store fee? Poor poor Epic Games. What's the use case for an alternate store on your mobile device, seriously?

All that an alternate store encourages and allows for is bad actors.


Which part of these protections the App Store provides to us, users do you wanna get rid of and why?
Man, you're trying way too hard to protect a trillion dollar company. They're not your friend, and they can spend their money to keep their store to their standards. But also, people can actually own their device they paid for however they want.

And the best part? You can choose to use their app store exclusively! Your shallow (or borrowed from Apple PR) concerns have no merit against that.
 

umbala

Posts: 648   +1,148
Apparently you didn't get the memo, this *diotic proposal will loosen regulations on apps, not tighten them.

Horrible initiative from any perspective. We already had this "experiment" with Windows, all it gave us was endless waves of malware. 30 years later still going strong. Now they wanna force Apple to let that happen. How great.

Dear EU lawmakers! Please kindly GTFO and leave iOS alone. I like it BECAUSE of the restrictions it imposes on app makers, not DESPITE of them. I want a mobile phone where the apps are safe, I don't need the Windows way where every exe I download need to be scanned for viruses (with varying scanner reliability), because any random script kiddie can put up their ransomware or whatever cr@p for some easy money.

If you want to have alternative stores, use an Android device, or make your own OS, I couldn't care less. Leave my phone alone.

This whole debacle is about greedy developers (read: Epic Games) not wanting to put up with the 30% store fee. Well guess what, developing such an OS, vetting all those apps and updates, and running that ginormous infrastructure is not free, so STFU and pay up, or make a better store for yourself.

Did I happen to mention that the Epic Store is still losing money (we're talking about several hundred million dollars), and they don't expect it to break even before 2024? So yeah, Mr. Sweeney, it's easier said than done, apparently.

And the worst part is that they pretend this is a "pro-consumer" move. No, not in the slightest. I can't think of a SINGLE thing that this would bring to the table for me.
tl;dr lol

Ah the old age argument about being locked into a digital ecosystem somehow being a "good" thing because it prevents malware. It's just laughable. Newsflash: iOS already has malware. This reminds me of the old nonsense all the Apple fans used to parrot about how iOS "just works". Again, laughable.

Here's the thing, forcing Apple to allow 3rd party app installations doesn't automatically equal malware, nor does it mean you MUST install 3rd party apps. If you're worried about malware you can simply leave that feature turned off, you know like on Android.

Also, nobody cares what YOU want. You like things the way they are, that's great, but the other millions and millions of users who don't like it, I guess they don't matter, right?
 

umbala

Posts: 648   +1,148
Not sure why anyone other than Apple would oppose this. You don’t have to use 3rd party app stores and payment providers. Perfectly fine to stick with Apple all the way if that’s your thing.
Right, that's how it works on Android. You can enable side loading if you want to (and if you know what you're doing), but nobody's forcing you to do so. This is just common sense. But try explaining that to rabid Apple fanboys. These are the same people who think that Apple taking a 30% cut from developers is a good thing because they use that money to ensure only high quality apps make onto the platform, or some such nonsense.
 

umbala

Posts: 648   +1,148
Can you imagine if Microsoft said that starting next week Windows is locked down completely? You can only buy hardware that runs Windows directly from Microsoft at a bloated price. And if you try to build your own hardware and sell it, you get sued. Also, you can only install apps directly from the MS store and they will take 30% cut from every app sold. Can you imagine that? People would go completely nuts, but this is exactly what Apple has been doing and is the reason I will never EVER buy any Apple product, period. They will never lock me into their overpriced ecosystem.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,426   +5,736
I don't care about such apps. Those requirements are there for a reason. 9 million other developers figured it out, so can you.

If you can't develop an app that adheres to developer guidelines, I definitely don't want to put my trust in you, and you most definitely better off doing something else. Those rules are to protect the USER, precisely from the DEVELOPERS, who are for-profit entities and often don't care about user rights in the slightest. That's why we need Apple to draw a line.

Like those poor Chinese apps that want to track you despite the rules Apple set. Oh HOW MUCH I WANT THOSE APPS, I really wanna be tracked, but evil evil Apple won't let those devs do so. WTF is wrong with you?

This proposed law will allow those companies to say "heck we don't care, if you wanna use our stuff, you must use our store, where we do whatever we want with your personal data and payments, no strings attached". That's *exactly* what's happening on Android, but apparently some people will never learn.

Like some Huawei smart watches, they simply don't upload the newer versions for the companion app, they give you an APK. Which you may get from the trustworthy source, or you may not. It may be malware, who knows? No way to tell. But that app is just fine, feel free to install it! Source: trust me bro. Great approach indeed.

With APKs, obviously you can kiss goodbye to automatic updates as well. 99.99% of the time that APK version will rot on that mobile device till eternity, because the user just can't be bothered to manually download APK updates. Embrace all those security vulnerabilities that *will* be discovered in those apps. Mmmm gotta love it. Here's the list for OpenSSL, one of the most used SSL libraries in the world:


Every few months there's a vulnerability. And this is just one 3rd party component. You can have dozens, not to mention your own app will also have secholes all the time. Those need to be patched, constantly. That's not gonna happen with APKs. Ever. At this point, your device is literally begging to be hacked.

Android users are 50 times more likely to be infected by malware than Apple device users. If you don't understand the underlying problem, I don't know what else to say to you. I really can't imagine why any sane person would want to voluntarily open the floodgates. It makes absolutely no sense. It does malware devs a HUGE favor, that's all.



Cool story. Name ONE store that's better.
Droid, because it lets you download a mobile browser with built in advlocker that doesn't break with Google services like safari tends to.

*Drops mic*
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,637   +4,605
TechSpot Elite
Apparently you didn't get the memo, this *diotic proposal will loosen regulations on apps, not tighten them.

Horrible initiative from any perspective. We already had this "experiment" with Windows, all it gave us was endless waves of malware. 30 years later still going strong. Now they wanna force Apple to let that happen. How great.

Dear EU lawmakers! Please kindly GTFO and leave iOS alone. I like it BECAUSE of the restrictions it imposes on app makers, not DESPITE of them. I want a mobile phone where the apps are safe, I don't need the Windows way where every exe I download need to be scanned for viruses (with varying scanner reliability), because any random script kiddie can put up their ransomware or whatever cr@p for some easy money.

If you want to have alternative stores, use an Android device, or make your own OS, I couldn't care less. Leave my phone alone.

This whole debacle is about greedy developers (read: Epic Games) not wanting to put up with the 30% store fee. Well guess what, developing such an OS, vetting all those apps and updates, and running that ginormous infrastructure is not free, so STFU and pay up, or make a better store for yourself.

Did I happen to mention that the Epic Store is still losing money (we're talking about several hundred million dollars), and they don't expect it to break even before 2024? So yeah, Mr. Sweeney, it's easier said than done, apparently.

And the worst part is that they pretend this is a "pro-consumer" move. No, not in the slightest. I can't think of a SINGLE thing that this would bring to the table for me.
This is objectively one of the best things to have happened for the mobile market in a decade. You don't need to pretend, this is 100% a pro-consumer legislation.

If you don't understand why then just say so.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
This is actually terrifying. Forcing Apple to allow side loading will have no benefit to users, this benefits corporations profits, stop calling the pure bullshit that users will benefit in any meaningful way. Users will only suffer as corporations increase their profits. No intelligent
human being should want this. Politicians calling for this are either as dumb as a bag of rocks or are simply disgusting human beings who are almost certainly accepting money from corporations to push it. Just don’t buy an iPhone, nobody is forcing you to. Users only choose to be in this ecosystem.

I just hope that if this happens it only happens in the EU. The country I live had the good sense to leave that corrupt organisation.
 
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Burty117

Posts: 4,505   +2,723
This is actually terrifying. Forcing Apple to allow side loading will have no benefit to users, this benefits corporations profits, stop calling the pure bullshit that users will benefit in any meaningful way. Users will only suffer as corporations increase their profits. No intelligent
human being should want this. Politicians calling for this are either as dumb as a bag of rocks or are simply disgusting human beings who are almost certainly accepting money from corporations to push it. Just don’t buy an iPhone, nobody is forcing you to. Users only choose to be in this ecosystem.

I just hope that if this happens it only happens in the EU. The country I live had the good sense to leave that corrupt organisation.
Ah, someone else who doesn't get it. Even worse, you think this move will make Apple more money. Maybe you read it backwards?
 

tellmewhy

Posts: 183   +86
Just as a reminder, the feedback from the competition it is the ONLY thing that push the quality up and the prices down. If there are any kind of obstacles in the development that fact is reducing the competition.

That’s why all the quality apps have evolve in Windows ecosystem and some of them they have ported to that freebsd clone os too. There is not even one top quality app (I mean without a similar or even better alternative) that is exclusive to that freebsd clone.

So if we have to chose one company who has the moral right to ask for a cut from the app developers then that is Microsoft.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,637   +4,605
TechSpot Elite
This is actually terrifying. Forcing Apple to allow side loading will have no benefit to users, this benefits corporations profits, stop calling the pure bullshit that users will benefit in any meaningful way. Users will only suffer as corporations increase their profits. No intelligent
human being should want this. Politicians calling for this are either as dumb as a bag of rocks or are simply disgusting human beings who are almost certainly accepting money from corporations to push it. Just don’t buy an iPhone, nobody is forcing you to. Users only choose to be in this ecosystem.

I just hope that if this happens it only happens in the EU. The country I live had the good sense to leave that corrupt organisation.
I can't tell if you are serious or just trolling :)

Hopefully you are just trolling.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 362   +243
Not sure why anyone other than Apple would oppose this. You don’t have to use 3rd party app stores and payment providers. Perfectly fine to stick with Apple all the way if that’s your thing.
My understanding is that if someone else has an untrusted app for the iPhone on his iPhone, he could send you an E-mail that could do bad things to your iPhone or something. No doubt someone familiar with iOS could explain this.
 

dangh

Posts: 623   +977
Apparently you didn't get the memo, this *diotic proposal will loosen regulations on apps, not tighten them.

Horrible initiative from any perspective. We already had this "experiment" with Windows, all it gave us was endless waves of malware. 30 years later still going strong. Now they wanna force Apple to let that happen. How great.

Dear EU lawmakers! Please kindly GTFO and leave iOS alone. I like it BECAUSE of the restrictions it imposes on app makers, not DESPITE of them. I want a mobile phone where the apps are safe, I don't need the Windows way where every exe I download need to be scanned for viruses (with varying scanner reliability), because any random script kiddie can put up their ransomware or whatever cr@p for some easy money.

If you want to have alternative stores, use an Android device, or make your own OS, I couldn't care less. Leave my phone alone.

This whole debacle is about greedy developers (read: Epic Games) not wanting to put up with the 30% store fee. Well guess what, developing such an OS, vetting all those apps and updates, and running that ginormous infrastructure is not free, so STFU and pay up, or make a better store for yourself.

Did I happen to mention that the Epic Store is still losing money (we're talking about several hundred million dollars), and they don't expect it to break even before 2024? So yeah, Mr. Sweeney, it's easier said than done, apparently.

And the worst part is that they pretend this is a "pro-consumer" move. No, not in the slightest. I can't think of a SINGLE thing that this would bring to the table for me.
... Well trained corpo sheep. Don't want to use side loading, don't enable it.
And lol @Epic: greedy company, because they don't charge devs 30pct but just 12... Are you mad?;) I'm sure you believe all the adds on tv.

Btw: if I can't write my own app for my own device and run it on this device without having to pay for that then this device is ****.
And don't tell me about security. Good if the device is secure but in the end it should be mine decision.
Can't wait for this law to be applied and developers being able to bypass draconic transactions fees. And maybe I could port my apps to ipad for a change.
No trillion dollars company care about you not small businesses. They use their position to get a share from all potential small businesses which dare to use operating system. Even from direct competitors (love how they cut 30pct from Spotify subscription to finance their apple music). Anyone fine with that is simply well trained sheep, spring nonsense about free market in era of 3 companies blocking any innovation using broken patent law, lawyers costs, or eventually buying anything which can't be tamed and exploited.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,637   +4,605
TechSpot Elite
My understanding is that if someone else has an untrusted app for the iPhone on his iPhone, he could send you an E-mail that could do bad things to your iPhone or something. No doubt someone familiar with iOS could explain this.
BS. Every app needs to get approval from you to do things like that (just like when you install it from the app store). And installing untrusted apps is not a problem. It can just be turned off by default and let people who absolutely want to install them enable the option.

I've used sideloading on android a lot and I've never had any issues. I've used it to install older versions of apps, apps that were no longer available on the store, developer previews, my own freaking apps for testing and so much more.

Here's one thing you'll be able to do: avoid using safari or safari's engine on iOS. Install any browser you may want.

The whole "but think of the security" weak excuse is just a front for "but think of the profits".
 
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