Sat. May 18th, 2024

The upcoming iOS 17.4 update will open the doors for third-party app stores to exist on iPhone, but only in the European Union for now. SetApp, a popular app subscription service for Mac, will be one of the first alternative app stores on iPhones.

Apple announced last month that the upcoming iOS 17.4 update would allow third-party app repositories, like Android has since its inception, in order to comply with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act that was passed in 2022. The functionality will only be live in the European Union, where Apple is legally compelled to support it, and not in the United States or other regions. That might change in the future, but Apple definitely doesn’t seem interested in doing that yet.

Epic Games already confirmed it would build an alternative app store for iPhone devices (mostly for its own Fortnite game), and now MacPaw confirmed that its SetApp service will also be an alternative app store. SetApp is a popular subscription service for Mac computers that gives you over 200 apps for a fixed price each month (currently $9.99). The iOS version of SetApp will work the same way, but for iOS apps.

SetApp said in a blog post, “MacPaw’s Setapp is the first subscription-based platform offering a curated collection of Mac and iOS apps to users. The platform empowers developers by aligning rewards with apps’ usage and market value, thus fostering a thriving ecosystem of innovation. Now, Setapp will be available directly on iOS devices, allowing for a more integrated and convenient user experience. This expansion promises a diverse selection of premium applications for users and a supportive environment for developers.”

SetApp hasn’t confirmed which applications will be included in the iOS app, but the company is probably still in talks with iOS app developers about distribution. The company only said, “The beta version will showcase a carefully selected assortment of apps, including fan favorites from the Setapp catalog.”

We still don’t know when, if ever, Apple will roll out third-party app store support to more regions. It might not happen until other countries pass similar laws to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, because Apple really doesn’t want to let go of that App Store revenue.

Source: SetApp via MacRumors

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By John P.

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