iOS 17.5 beta 2 coming today with new Web Distribution sideloading feature in the EU

Last month, Apple announced a new Web Distribution offering for developers in the European Union. With today’s launch of iOS 17.5 beta 2, that feature is now available.

Web Distribution gives developers in the EU the ability to offer their apps for download directly from their website. Here’s how it works.

Web Distribution in the European Union with iOS 17.5

Web Distribution is the third distribution option that developers in the European Union can take advantage of in light of the Digital Markets Act.

To use Web Distribution, developers will have to opt into the new App Store business terms, which means they will pay the Core Technology Fee of €0.50 for each first annual install over one million in the past 12 months.

Any app distributed through the web will still be required to meet Apple’s notarization guidelines. Apps can only be installed from a website domain that the developer has registered in App Store Connect. Apple will also make a number of APIs available for integration with system functionality for developers.

In a post on its Developer website, Apple says:

Web Distribution lets authorized developers distribute their iOS apps to users in the European Union (EU) directly from a website owned by the developer. Apple will provide developers access to APIs that facilitate the distribution of their apps from the web, integrate with system functionality, and back up and restore users’ apps, once they meet certain requirements designed to help protect users and platform integrity.

When a user downloads an app from a developer’s website for the first time, they will be prompted with a series of screens explaining what it means to give that developer the ability to install apps from their website.

After authenticating with Face ID to approve giving that developer permission to install apps, the user will then go through a three-step installation process for the app itself. Apple’s Notarization system means that users will see clear information about the app and how it works. This includes things like the app name, developer name, app description, screenshots, and system age rating.

Notably, users only have to give each developer permission to install apps one time.

For example, let’s say Meta ends up supporting the Web Distribution feature in the EU. The first time a user downloads an app from Meta, such as the Facebook app, they will be prompted to give Meta the ability to install apps on their device. Then, going forward, they will only have to approve each app installation itself.

9to5Mac’s Take

The new details provided by Apple give a good at the actual process of using Web Distribution in the European Union – including how it is balancing security and privacy with convenience.

A viral post on social media last week, boosted by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, claimed that it would take 15 steps to install an app using Web Distribution. With the details provided today, Apple makes it clear that’s not the case.

The first time you install an app from a developer using Web Distribution, it’s essentially an eight-step process to authorize a developer and install the first app. Each subsequent time you install an app from that same developer, it’s a three-step process.

For comparison’s sake, Android uses a one-time permission model when sideloading apps. While Android’s implementation requires fewer taps than Apple’s implementation, Apple provides users with more granular control for each developer. It also offers more details about each app prior to installation.

And, in a funny twist, Apple’s implementation of Web Distribution on iPhone is a significantly easier process than installing and using the Epic Games Store on the Mac.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Source link

Previous articleBitcoin’s $109M outflow: A dip in demand or something else?
Next articleThis 32-inch Toshiba set with Fire TV is just £129 for a limited time