Yet regularly cited among the potential novelties of WWDC 2023, sideloading was finally ignored by Apple. But this change, which would mark a small turning point, could very well be the subject of an independent announcement… reserved for Europe.
WWDC 2023 was historic. It had been almost 10 years (2014) since Apple introduced a whole new category of products, with the Apple Watch at the time. This time, the Apple firm has tackled a completely different behemoth, which is the mixed reality headset with the Apple Vision Pro.
Inevitably, this space computer – as Apple likes to call it – was the star of the event, alongside iOS 17 in particular. But is it necessary to conceal the “non-announcements”? Namely the new software or hardware that we expected… but which ultimately never had their moment of glory.
A history of regulation
Among them, one particularly impressed us: the sideloading, namely the ability to install other application stores other than the App Store, on an iPhone. For months, some rumors have made us dangle that this opening to other application markets would be discussed at WWDC 2023. Nay.
In April, Bloomberg was more cautious. According to the American media, it was not so much WWDC that was going to be the scene of such an announcement, but rather iOS 17 as a whole – which will go through several stages, between beta and stable version.
iOS 17 will make noise beyond WWDC itself. Apple is working on overhauling the software to open up the iPhone to sideloading — the downloading of apps outside of the official store — to comply with new European regulations by next year.
Should we therefore believe that the project has been definitively abandoned? No way. It’s actually worth adding a bit of context to understand the ins and outs of the story. And Bloomberg cites a very important element to remember: the new European regulations.
Apple did not want to expose itself
The latter will normally force Apple to set up sideloading… at least in the European Union. Only the Old Continent could thus be affected by this strong paradigm shift, while the manufacturer has been opposed for years to the idea of opening its OS. Asia and North America should therefore be spared.
Consequences: we can expect an announcement specifically made for Europe in the weeks or months to come. And we can in a certain sense understand that Apple did not want to expose itself to the WWDC, by showing the whole world that it was indeed forced to comply with the laws of Europe. Another possibility to also consider: to keep a certain unity on its OS, Apple could also open the sideloading to all its users, in Europe and elsewhere. But to be sure, we will have to wait for a real announcement. If she ever comes.
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