Apple Warns That Some Screen Time and Sharing Features Won't Work With Alternative App Distribution in the EU

Apple in iOS 17.4 will begin allowing apps in the European Union to be distributed through alternative app stores rather than the iOS App Store, but the Cupertino company warns that this means certain features users have come to rely on will not work as they do for standard ‌App Store‌ apps.

iOS App Store General Feature Clorange
Restrictions on In-App Purchases in Screen Time will not be available, for example, nor will Family Purchase Sharing for apps and subscriptions that are made outside of the ‌App Store‌. Ask to Buy is not a supported feature, and universal purchase, a feature that allows apps to work across all of a user's devices, is not offered.

Apple will not be able to offer these features because it will not be facilitating purchases of apps distributed through alternative app stores.

Screen Time, parental controls, and Spotlight will continue to function, according to Apple, but parents will need to adjust to not having access to purchasing restrictions for apps installed outside of the ‌App Store‌.

Apple also warns that it will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management and cancelation, violations of user data privacy, abuse, or fraud and manipulations.

Developers or the alternative app marketplace an app was downloaded from will need to handle issues like refunds and subscription cancelations. iPhone and iPad users will be able to choose not to install apps outside of the ‌App Store‌, of course, and these changes are limited to users in the European Union.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

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Top Rated Comments

Amazing Iceman Avatar
17 weeks ago
To be expected, let them swim without a lifeguard present.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
omihek Avatar
17 weeks ago
But everyone will still blame them when it happens
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fuzzball84 Avatar
17 weeks ago
If you leave the relative safety of the Apple ecosystem... you can own your decision if anything goes wrong.

The vast majority of people will just stick to the official store....
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
17 weeks ago
It doesn't work on Apple apps half the time.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
17 weeks ago

But everyone will still blame them when it happens
Yup, Apple is about to get a lot of flack from users when they can't assist with app support.

Apple also warns that it will not be able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management and cancelation, violations of user data privacy, abuse, or fraud and manipulations.

Lots of trouble tickets into Apple will get 'stuck" because users won't be able to answer the simple question "Where did you purchase the app from?"

User: "through my phone"
Apple Support: "....ummm...."

This is why Apple's model was "user friendly", and why forcing this "open" marketplace is just gonna be a nightmare for less technical users.

But that's just another problem for Apple to solve.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iOS Geek Avatar
17 weeks ago
We're a little over an hour into this beta cycle and we're already seeing examples of how the EU mandate is going to ruin things ? That was even faster than I thought it would be ? Governments have a track record of ruining lots of things they touch. Already seeing signs of yet another thing that will be ruined because of them.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)