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New EU law could force Apple to allow sideload apps

European Union’s new rules have come into effect today which would force Apple to allow users access third-party app stores and allow sideloading of apps on iPhones and iPads, among other changes to make the digital sector more competitive and fair, reveals a Macrumors report.

The new act Digital Markets Act will apply to tech companies that fall under its ‘gatekeeper’ criteria, and ask them to open up their platforms for allowing other companies and devs to freely engage and conduct business.

And Apple very well fits in the definition of ‘gatekeeper’ with its App Store ecosystem not allowing any third-party app stores access to download and install apps on its devices or even sideloading apps.

The act could offer devs the ability to closely interoperate with Apple’s services and promote offers outside the App Store, and even use third-party payment systems to get better deals, while also accessing data gathered by Apple.

The most recent addition to the DMA is the ability to make messaging, video and voice calling services interoperable. This would theoretically allow third-party apps such as Meta’s WhatsApp or Messenger to request to interoperate with Apple’s iMessage framework and Apple will have to comply with it within the EU.

The act was proposed by the EU in December 20920 and was agreed by the EU Parliament and the Council in record-time, in March 2022. The act is now proceeding towards a six-month implementation phase and will commence its application on May 2, 2023.

Post which, under two months and latest by July 3, 2023, potential gatekeepers will have to inform the Commission regarding their core platform services and if they meet the thresholds established by the DMA.

After the Commission has received the necessary information, it will take 45 working days to make an assessment to whether the company in question meets the thresholds and to designate them as gatekeepers. Post which, the gatekeepers will be given six months to comply with the requirements under the act, and latest by March 6, 2024. India Times

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