Third party app stores will only be available for iPhone not

Third-party app stores will only be available for iPhone, not iPad

Apple yesterday announced a number of important changes to the App Store and iPhone platform for European Union residents, including support for alternative app stores. Now the company has decided to clarify one nuance: some of the innovations will affect all Apple platforms, while others will only affect the iPhone, but not the iPad.

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Apple justifies its decision by saying that, according to the decision of the EU authorities and the rules of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), only iOS for iPhone is the “gatekeeper platform”. The iPadOS platform installed on the iPad is a completely different platform in the eyes of the European Commission and the manufacturer itself. At the same time, the App Store is a “gatekeeper” service and its effect extends to iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Thus, the innovations announced by Apple can be divided into two parts: those that affect the App Store will affect all of the company’s platforms, others will only affect the iPhone, although the code bases of iOS and iPadOS are largely the same.

In practice this means the following:

  • the ability to install third-party app stores and download applications from third-party sites appears only on the iPhone;
  • The choice of third-party browsers and browser engines is only available on iPhone.
  • the ability to set a default wallet with NFC support – only on iPhone;
  • App Store policy changes with lower commissions and alternative payment systems apply to all Apple platforms;
  • Changes to the App Store rules for cloud gaming services affect all Apple platforms.

All of these changes will appear in iOS 17.4, which is now available to developers for beta testing.


About the author

Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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