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Apple iOS 17.5 Beta Lets Users Download Apps Directly from Websites in EU

The first developer beta of iOS 17.5 has finally made it possible for users in the European Union to download iPhone apps directly from developers’ websites.

Apple released the first beta version of iOS 17.5 to developers a few hours ago, and as expected, the update allows users in the European Union to download apps directly from websites.

With the release of iOS 17.4, Apple allowed European developers to publish their apps through alternative app stores to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Apple’s initial approach was to allow sideloading of iPhone apps only through alternative app stores, but following pressure from Europe, the company expanded the changes to also allow direct downloads from websites.

The change that Apple has made to iOS makes it more like Android, but iOS has more restrictions on downloading apps from websites than Android. European developers must meet Apple’s requirements in order to offer direct downloads of their apps.

They must have been a member of the Apple Developer Program for at least two years and their app must have had more than one million new installs in the European Union in the past year. Another important requirement is to publish transparent details about how data is collected.

Apple provides a special API to eligible developers so that they can integrate their apps directly into their website. Apps that are downloaded in this way will support backup, restore, and update features.

This is the first time that Apple has allowed direct downloads of iPhone apps. Support for this feature is likely to make apps and games like Spotify and Fortnite available to more people without the restrictions of the App Store.

Apps that are made available through websites do not pay Apple a commission for in-app purchases, but they will be required to pay the controversial Core Technology Fee. This fee is linked to the number of installs of each app and has been criticized by many.

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