One of the most expected iOS 17 features is the ability to sideload apps. With the European new Digital Markets Act becoming fully applicable by the following year, Apple is planning to make the necessary changes in time for the release of iOS 17.
The changes would only go into effect in Europe initially, as other countries — including the United States — have yet to pass similar laws forcing Apple’s hand.
Allowing third-party app stores would be one of many changes Apple would make in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act. Other changes include opening more of its APIs to third-party apps, removing the requirement for third-party web browsers to use WebKit, and potentially allowing users to install third-party payment systems.
Interestingly enough, while many are interested in this change, it’s unlikely for Apple to announce it during the WWDC keynote publicly. Yesterday, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman noted that since the laws that require alternative stores won’t go into effect until next year, “based on past history,” he expects Apple to wait until the last minute to implement any changes and not discuss them at WWDC at all.
That said, WWDC will be the stage of many other iOS 17 expected features, including improvements to the Find My and Wallet apps, a new journaling app for mental health tracking that will analyze users’ behavior to determine how they feel, and a smart display-like feature that will show more data when the iPhone is locked horizontally.
In addition, iOS 17 is said to bring improvements to Dynamic Island, interactive widgets to the Home Screen and the Lock Screen, as well as tweaks for the App Library and Apple Music.
WWDC 2023 keynote starts at 10 am PDT on June 5. BGR will make sure to bring all the news as soon as Apple announces them.