Apple Starts Letting Developers Add Alternative App Marketplaces to App Store Connect

EU developers can now add alternative app marketplaces to App Store Connect, Apple said today. Apple is also accepting submissions for the Notarization process, which is required for all apps that will be distributed through alternative marketplaces.

App Store vs EU Feature 2
Apple is making these changes to ‌App Store‌ Connect ahead of the launch of iOS 17.4, an update that overhauls the app ecosystem in the European Union. Alternative app marketplaces are special iOS apps that can be downloaded onto an iPhone from a website or a web browser, serving as an alternative to the ‌App Store‌. App marketplaces are able to distribute iOS apps, giving developers a way to sell their apps without using the ‌App Store‌.

Both alternative marketplaces and apps that are added to the ‌iPhone‌ through one of the marketplaces are checked over by Apple to prevent malware, viruses, and similar malicious content.

To add an alternative app marketplace or submit an app for Notarization, developers must agree to Apple's new business terms. The business terms include a Core Technology Fee that requires app marketplaces to pay .50 euros per install, and apps to pay the same fee after 1 million installs.

With alternative app marketplaces able to be added to ‌App Store‌ Connect, marketplace distribution and marketplace apps can be set up, and TestFlight can be used to beta test new features.

TestFlight also supports apps that use alternative browser engines and alternative payments through third-party payment providers.

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Top Rated Comments

Stiksi Avatar
24 weeks ago

Its going to be the Wild West out there... Good luck Europeans.
Yes, we have already had multiple apocalypses due to being able to install apps on macs and jailbroken iphones that don’t pay tithes to Apple. I don’t know how we will survive. I can’t think of a worse thing that’s happened to Europeans in the last years ?
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
soapropos Avatar
24 weeks ago
I understand why Apple wants to vet the apps to prevent malware…but at the same time I really don't see the point in an alternative marketplace if Apple is just going to have to certify the app anyway. Isn't that what everyone was upset about to begin with?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
24 weeks ago

So it begins... mark my words, with this step, iOS world will awake to life and freedom.

As a Mac user first, I'm rejoiced. Sadly I don't live in EU so I've to wait more.
That's one perspective, but not the only one.

Another is that the iOS world will become like Windows, and in some ways like macOS, where apps, and entire app marketplaces, are eventually abandoned because they just couldn't make a go of it. That's the piece that developers have taken for granted with the App Store. They don't have to worry about the "health" of the marketplace that they distribute apps through. They don't have to worry about payment processing, support/help desks, etc. This is what the 30% has always paid for. Now they'll be on their own, and the true cost of developing, distributing and supporting apps will become real.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DFZD Avatar
24 weeks ago
So it begins... mark my words, with this step, iOS world will awake to life and freedom.

As a Mac user first, I'm rejoiced. Sadly I don't live in EU so I've to wait more.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
augustrushrox Avatar
24 weeks ago
The entire point of alternative app marketplaces is so that Apple can't control them...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JamesMay82 Avatar
24 weeks ago
I don’t understand the need for it. I think the normal App Store is filled with crap so god knows what this alternative one will be like
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)