New iOS 17.5 Beta Lets EU iPhone Users Download Apps Directly From Websites

With the second beta of iOS 17.5 that's available today, iPhone users located in the European Union are able to download apps directly from the websites of Apple app developers without going through the App Store or an alternative app marketplace.

Apple EU iOS Changes Orange 1
Since March, Apple has been working on support for downloading apps from websites, and the feature is finally ready for testing. Apple started letting developers offer their apps through alternative app marketplaces in the EU in iOS 17.4, but the website option adds a new method for acquiring apps.

App developers that want to offer iOS apps from their websites in the European Union need to meet specific criteria to ensure the safety of ‌iPhone‌ users. Apps must undergo Apple's Notarization process, and developers need to be a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more.

Only apps that have had one million annual first installs or more on iOS in the EU in the prior year are eligible for download from a website. Developers that meet these terms will be able to use an API for web-based app downloads. Apps downloaded through the web using the API can be backed up, restored, and updated as standard apps can.

When an ‌iPhone‌ user in the EU visits a website to install an app, users will need to grant express permission for that developer to install apps to Settings. A system sheet will display the app name, developer name, app description, screenshots, and more.

Developers are only able to offer apps from their developer account, and are required to publish transparent data collection policies so users are aware of how data is collected and used. Apps distributed outside of the ‌App Store‌ need to provide customer support, refunds, and offer a way to manage apps.

While developers do not have to pay a cut of app sales to Apple for apps distributed through websites, there is a 0.50 euro Core Technology Fee for each annual install over one million in the past 12 months. The fee is waived for nonprofit organizations, accredited educational institutions, and government entities.

Downloading apps outside of the ‌App Store‌ is limited to ‌iPhone‌ users who are located in the European Union, and Apple has implemented these options to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act. The functionality is not available on the iPad, nor is it open to ‌iPhone‌ users in other countries.

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

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Top Rated Comments

nitrobear Avatar
6 weeks ago
Every day we're closer to being able to install whatever apps we want and I'm really happy about it.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
6 weeks ago

Every day we're closer to being able to install whatever apps we want and I'm really happy about it.
Bring it on… just as the world has long enjoyed with Mac apps. Consumer choice is good!
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
6 weeks ago

well, good luck to all folks who bought an iOS device for their elderly loved ones b/c they were sure inexperienced people cannot be tricked into downloading counterfeit applications that may expose their data/steal their credentials.
Inexperienced users have been getting tricked into downloading apps that could expose their data, steal their credentials, and worse from Apple's App Store for years.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iObama Avatar
6 weeks ago

There's nothing "enjoyable" about how apps are handled on the Mac. The app experience on Mac is a fragmented PITA and would be far better being handled the iOS way.
Well, the Mac App Store has been around for 13 years, and it's been a pretty trash experience. So... hard disagree.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
josemote Avatar
6 weeks ago
No one is going to force anyone to install applications from the web, or take security risks. But I certainly want that possibility to be my decision.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SteveJUAE Avatar
6 weeks ago
What else have these developers got to do ?

Hop on one leg, pat their heads, rub their belly and whistle :rolleyes:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)