Apple reportedly plans to charge developers if they offer sideloaded apps

Like New Europe will take effect in the coming weeks, Apple is preparing users will be required to allow downloading apps from sources outside of the App Store. The company hasn’t shared details on how the so-called sideloading process will work, but it appears it may not allow developers to bypass the company’s fees and app review rules.

The Wall Street Journal That the App Store owner “plans to charge developers who offer downloads outside of the App Store” and require some kind of review for downloads that don’t go through its storefront. Sideloading will only be offered to iOS users in the European Union to comply with the bloc’s Digital Markets Act.

While Apple’s plan is not yet complete, the report notes, the strategy will be in line with another major change the company has made to its US App Store policies. Last week the company officially Enabling in-app purchases that bypass the App Store’s billing system for US developers.

But the new rules come after a long court battle Fortnite developer Epic Games stipulates that developers still have to pay a hefty 27 percent commission on purchases made outside the App Store (some smaller developers will only be charged 12 percent). The new rules also give Apple the right to audit developers’ records to ensure compliance. This has already drawn a lot of criticism from Epic, Spotify and other long-time developers App Store Restrictions and Fees.

If Apple were to charge developers for sideloading, it might draw similar criticism from app makers. The Digital Markets Act goes into effect on March 7, and while Apple has yet to share its plan for the regulation, companies that have previously grappled with Cupertino’s rules are already gearing up. Spotify, a long-time rival of the App Store commission, just Here’s what the European version of its app will look like once users can pay for subscriptions and audiobooks within its app.

The Wall Street Journal Another vocalist, Meta, also reports , is working on its own project that will allow developers to distribute their apps through Facebook ads. The effort, dubbed Project Neon internally, could allow the Facebook owner to compete more directly with the App Store, at least in Europe.

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