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First alternative app store launches for iPhone users in Europe

Published Apr 17th, 2024 2:16PM EDT
AltStore first alternative app store
Image: AltStore

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With iOS 17.4 allowing alternative app stores for European users with an iPhone, the first third-party app marketplace has finally debuted. AltStore is the first alternative app store that can be downloaded by iOS users living in the European Union.

With the “Sideloading for Everyone” slogan, the alternative app store was created by Riley Testut and Shane Gill. They say that their store is an “open-source project developed by a dedicated team of two. We are supported entirely by donations from our community, and you can follow along with our progress on GitHub.”

According to them, “AltStore is an app store designed for sideloading. Every app in AltStore gets a beautifully generated store page with detailed information to make sideloading fun and easy. Browse apps from trusted developers, or add additional “sources” to further increase your options.” Plus, the alternative app store lets you view a list of an app’s permissions from its store page. AltStore’s webpage also teaches you how to publish your own apps.

How to download the first alternative app store on your iPhone

iPhone sideloading app storeImage source: Apple Inc.

There are a few requirements to download the first alternative app store available in Europe, including:

  • Having iOS 17.4 or later installed
  • Being in Europe

As long as you meet those requirements, you can download AltStore by paying 1.50 euros per year plus VAT, which the developers say covers Apple’s Core Technology fee (50 cents per euro), payment processing, and server costs.

If you don’t want to pay to use the third-party store – or don’t live in the EU – you can download AltServer on macOS or Windows for free.

While this is only the first alternative app store available, more marketplaces should arrive in the near future, including the long-anticipated Epic Games Store, which will make Fortnite available to iPhone users in Europe once again.

Along with the release of the AltStore, Testut also made his popular retro game emulator app Delta available on the App Store for all global users.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.