What is Apple's App Store's future plans?

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple now has to deal with the Digital Markets Act, that was recently passed by the European Parliament. And this would mean Apple will require major changes to Apple’s business beginning in 2024.

Jason Snell writing for Six Colors has one of the best takes on this story.

What’s the world going to look like after this happens?

You know. Round… blue. Pretty much the same as now. I really have a hard time seeing most members of the public turning off App Store protections and installing separate App Stores. Yes, it will happen, but the Play Store is still the place to be on Android, despite its long-time support for sideloading. In fact, Android developers have found that leaving the Play Store and going it alone is quite bad for business. Bet on the status quo.

Yup, I don't think it would be a big deal.

It’s one thing to say, “no more App Store exclusivity.” It’s another thing to walk through exactly how that would work in reality—something that it seems everyone at Apple has been doing or is doing right now.

My guess is that Apple will add a switch to the Settings app (probably buried down deep, behind a sign saying Beware of the Leopard) that enables the installation of non-App Store apps. (This is what Android does.) Apple will probably give it a name like “Allow Untrusted Apps” or something similarly scary and will undoubtedly follow any attempt to turn it on with a scary alert on the level of “This App May Kill You“.

Once all the ooga-booga is done, you will be able to install software from third parties. This will probably primarily come via downloads in Safari, and when tapping on an app download link, you’ll probably see yet another warning. I’d also bet on an additional warning when you tap to install the app on your home screen and when you first launch the app. Apple will probably warn you, a lot, and probably ask you to authenticate via password or biometric identification, too.

I worked at Samsung for a couple of years and apart form a few engineers (on their test phones); I came acorss no one who had this setting turned on or side loaded apps. Even if the experience of side loading apps was made easy, the probability of people opting for side loaded apps is going to be smaller.

Subscribe to Optimistically Skeptical

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson