iOS 17.4: paraloading possible, under strict conditions

It is now possible to download applications in the beta version of the application. But there are some conditions for your device.

As of March 7, Apple is required under the Digital Markets Law (DMA), to allow paraloading on iOS. This way, developers will be able to offer their applications outside the App Store. We can get a better look at how this will work in the iOS 17.4 beta.

Firstly, this freedom will not be absolute. Apple is creating a new platform, App Marketplaces, that other app stores can participate in. But not everyone will be allowed on this platform: application stores must “present a letter of credit of at least 1 million euros to guarantee support for developers and customers”, he writes 9to5Mac.

The App Marketplace is based on the API developed by Apple. This gives you the necessary control over downloads, installations and updates coming from external sources. Apple even asked employees to review apps from external channels. The company therefore still has controls under control. As for browsers, they will no longer depend on the WebKit engine.

For Europe only

The new rules only apply to Europe. Apple imposes certain conditions to prevent users outside of Europe from taking advantage of the new rules. 9to5Mac discovered in the code of the latest beta update that the following can be controlled:

  • The billing address for your Apple ID account
  • Your current location (for privacy reasons, Apple only checks the country and not the exact location).
  • The defined region
  • The type of device

On the menu About your iPhone settings, you can check which region is set. Normally, if you live in the European Union, the region should already be set correctly. iOS 17.4 is available in beta starting today and will be released to the general public in March, closer to the March 7 deadline. The current version is iOS 17.3.

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The financial plan

Apple is also sharing more information about its revamped commission system. Under DMA rules, Apple must allow payments outside of its own payment systems. Payments can be made using the iPhone’s NFC technology. Apple will not lose anything, however, financially. The standard commission will be adjusted to 17% on purchases, a rate that will drop to 10% for “most developers” after the first year. This fee includes a 3% “payment processing” surcharge.

But downloads through other channels are also not exempt from commissions. After the first million installs, Apple will charge a flat fee of half a euro per download, regardless of the channel through which the download is made. The Wall Street Journal wrote yesterday that Apple would also like to charge more for downloads.

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