Apple’s Walled Garden must be open to comply with European Laws
- Apple has maintained control over every corner of the iPhone ecosystem for the sake of user security.
- Bloomberg reports that Apple is working to comply with EU regulations, allowing sideloading iOS applications.
- This will test Apple’s walled garden and show if it is right all along.
For 15 years Apple has controlled every aspect of the iOS ecosystem — from the apps you’re allowed to install on iPhones and iPads, the look of your home screen, the payment systems you’re allowed to use, and everything in between.
The company has always maintained that the “walled garden” approach is essential to ensure users have a positive experience, protect against viruses, malware, and preserve their privacy. This strategy was championed by Steve Jobs, who is also a member of the “walled garden” group. said to have needed to be convinced to bring an App Store to the iPhone at all.
Apple must now surrender its digital markets rights under the Digital Markets Act, which was just enacted by the European Union. “monopolistic” controlOver developers and iPhones by 2024. This victory also marks the biggest hole in Apple’s highly regulated ecosystem.
The new law aims at Big Tech companies with highly regulated platforms that serve as gatekeepers between businesses and consumers — encompassing all app store providers, including Google. According to a new report, Apple plans to comply with the new laws. Bloomberg report. The iOS 17 update is expected to launch in September 2023.
This is a first by the iPhone maker. It has not always been in compliance even with new laws to curb its power over App Store. DutchSouth Korean regulators, for instance, have clashed against Apple. so far made few if any changes to how it does business in those countries.
Now, if Apple implements the changes detailed in the Bloomberg story then its walled-garden approach will be put to the ultimate testing, as we see the actual consequences of opening up floodgates for outsiders.
Sideloading apps, and a lighter app review
Downloading software or apps outside of the App Store — also called sideloading — is currently not possible unless users manipulate an iPhone’s fundamental software to bypass Apple’s restrictions.
Apple has long maintainedSideloading would make the iOS platform less secure and expose users to the worst parts of the internet. The company’s critics have argued that sideloading poses minimal security risks compared to the benefits of greater competition in the App Shop and more user choice. Bloomberg reports that sideloading may be allowed. We’ll find out who was right.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is also planning to support other App Stores. These would theoretically contain apps not necessarily approved by Apple. That could, in a roundabout way, address the headache for developers that is the App Store review process,The company audits all updates and apps before they are allowed to reach customers.
Apple has a complete website of security, privacy and content requirements that all apps must meet to be granted a desired place in its App Store. This process has been criticised as incongruent and can leave apps awaiting review for weeks without any communication from Apple.
If sideloading apps is allowed, developers could have a much more direct way of reaching their customers via these outside app stores — though Bloomberg also reports that the company is kicking around the idea of doing some kind of review of apps hosted outside its own App Store, though the details of that plan are currently unclear.
—Kosta Eleftheriou (@keleftheriou) October 3, 2022
The greatest pain for developers could be eliminated
Sideloading would also address the “Apple tax”, which is Apple’s most significant criticism.
Opening up payment methodsIt would be a major step forward for developers to make payments to third parties as required under European law. Apple’s current arrangement requires developers to use its in-house payment processing system and Apple receives an automatic 30% cut on almost all in-app purchase. Apple has defended the fee structure as reasonable and necessary, given the importance of the App Store in the software economy.
This provision has been criticized by everyone, from CEOs to app developers, over the years. Recently, Elon Musk, the new Twitter owner, was even enraged by this practice. declared warAgainst the system.
“It’s a very unique thing to have someone who’s also the richest man in the world to have the same problems that a small app developer — that maybe has one or two employees — is also experiencing,” said Rick VanMeterThe executive director of the industry group Coalition for App Fairness, a frequent critic for the so-called “fairness” system.Apple Tax.”
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