BMW and Toyota ruin your iPhone 15 but Apple comes

Apple puts a cap on App Store alternatives

It took a lot of doing, but it is finally possible to use App Store alternatives on the iPhone. Still, you will have to be careful when you go on vacation, because Apple puts a limit.

Due to the Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple is required by the European Union to let other companies offer an alternative to the App Store. Therefore, with the arrival of iOS 17.4, you can now download your apps from other places.

Because Apple only requires this in Europe, only other app stores are allowed with us. The rest of the world still relies on the App Store. Logical, because that still allows Apple to earn from its commissions.

Apple places restrictions on App Store alternatives

But what exactly if you go to a non-European country for an extended period of time? That’s when you as an iPhone user can still get into a lot of trouble.

Apple only allows you to use an alternative to the App Store outside the European Union for 30 days. That’s according to an information page from the company.

If you're traveling and using an alternative App Store on your iPhone, be careful. Apple sets restrictions.No longer the only place to buy an app. (Image: EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO)

You may now be thinking to yourself, “So what, I won’t download any new apps for a while, or I’ll just download something from Apple’s App Store.” Still, it can have detrimental consequences, as it makes it impossible to update an app already on your iPhone.

Updates are also downloaded through the relevant App Store. This, of course, can have considerable consequences. Consider, for example, a security hole found by developers. You can then no longer update those while traveling. However, it is possible to manage your apps, such as stopping a subscription.


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Alternatives to iPhone are on the way

Quite a few companies are launching an alternative to the App Store. For example, Mobivention and MacPaw are coming out with their own store on the iPhone. One company also all too keen is Epic Games. However, the Fortnite maker is barred by Apple because it is “proven unreliable.” The company’s developer account is still frozen.

Still, that may get a tailspin. The European Union has asked Apple for clarification and wants to know why it is stonewalling Epic Games. Presumably, then, the EU is going to crack down on this, and it’s certainly not the first time.

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