Applications outside the App Store can be installed on the iPhone. It was revealed by a piece of code in iOS 17.2 –


  • Apple prepares its system to install applications from external sources
  • It was revealed by the editors of the 9to5Mac server in the beta version of iOS 17.2
  • This feature will probably only be available in the European Union

The Digital Services Act, which has recently passed through the approval process of the European Union, is causing wrinkles on the foreheads of many a large technology giant. Lately, this law has been inflected mainly in connection with Apple, which resists its application in some areas, saying that it has enough power. For example, a complaint by Google and major European operators is now pending before the European Commission, which demands that the iMessage communication service be available on rival Android as well, and is protected by the Digital Services Act.

iOS 17.2 will be ready for third-party app stores

However, this is not the only area that gives Apple problems in connection with European legislation. The App Store is also in the sights of the regulatory authorities, namely the fact that it is the only way to get Apple applications into smartphones and tablets. According to the new law, Apple should offer the option of installing applications from other sources as well, which goes against Apple’s long-standing policy. 9to5Mac has now discovered evidence within the iOS 17.2 code that Apple may indeed be moving to allow the installation of apps from other sources.

iOS 17.2 beta includes a public framework called Managed App Distribution. Although 9to5Mac editors first thought it was related to installing enterprise apps, it’s likely part of the ability to install apps from other sources. At least this follows from the analysis, which also revealed that within this framework, other applications can also create extensions of this type. In other words, it allows developers to create their own app stores. The API contains basic drivers for downloading, installing, and also updating applications from external sources, including the ability to check whether the application is compatible with a specific device and installed iOS version.

Apple App Store preview of SMARTmaniaApple App Store preview of SMARTmania

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There is also a regional lock option within this API, which would indicate that Apple will not want to make this feature available in all markets it operates in. It is very likely that the installation of applications from external sources will only be available in the territory of the European Union. Since the final decision on whether or not Apple has to make its operating system available to third-party stores has not yet been made, it is not certain when we will see this option. However, iOS 17.2 will probably be ready for this variant.

Author of the article

Dominik VlasakDominik Vlasak

Dominik Vlasak

Editor, traveler, fan of technology, Star Wars and good coffee.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Applications App Store installed iPhone revealed piece code iOS SMARTmania .cz


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