EU iPhone users can now bypass the App Store

iPhone users located in the European Union (EU) can now download apps from developer websites instead of going through Apple's App Store.

The feature became available with the iOS 17.5 Beta 2 update.

Users who have the latest iOS version and want to download apps from a developer's website for the first time will have to agree with the developer's terms and conditions, which allow them to access user data.

To ensure iPhone user safety, Apple requires app developers to follow certain rules. For example, the company requires that web developers be part of the Apple Developer Program for at least two consecutive years.

The requirements also include having "an app that had more than one million first annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year."

Among several other conditions set by Apple, the developers must also agree only to offer apps from their account and follow "transparent data collection policies," offering users "control over how their data is collected and used."

Apple launched the update to meet the EU’s Digital Markets Act requirements, which, legislators claim, aims for fairness in the digital economy and thus is only available in EU countries.

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