Can I sideload apps on iPhone without jailbreaking?

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iPhone apps

Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Apple is forced to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) on sideloading apps in the European Union (EU). The sideloading feature is not available in the United States and is limited to the 27 countries that make up the European Union. But the existence of this feature might make you wonder if there are ways to circumvent regional restrictions and sideload apps outside of the European Union.

The ability to sideload apps on the iPhone comes with iOS 17.4, currently available in beta for countries within the EU. If you’re thinking about getting a VPN for your iPhone to test it out, you might want to think twice. A person using a VPN cannot sideload apps onto an iPhone outside the EU, at least according to Apple’s comments to ZDNET.

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Before an iPhone user can even try their hand at sideloading apps, Apple will automatically check that their device meets a list of requirements, including the user’s Apple ID billing address, their device’s current location, iOS settings, and device type.

A system called “Countryd” in iOS gives Apple the insight to determine whether you’ve downloaded apps from sources other than the App Store. 9 to 5 Mac. The media outlet also reported that devices in China are restricted from sideloading apps.

Apple reiterated that the new capabilities, which ensure compliance with DMA, make those who use them more vulnerable to cyberattacks, which is why it is not offering these changes outside the EU.

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Sideloading involves downloading applications from a source other than the device manufacturer’s official app store. While the Android operating system allows users to sideload apps, Apple has restricted sideloading and many other capabilities to its ecosystem.

But now, thanks to DMA compliance, iPhone users in the EU can use an alternative NFC payment method in Apple Pay, expand app analytics, introduce new APIs to build browsers using WebKit’s alternative engine, and more. can

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In the EU, apps do not need to be made available only in the App Store to run on iOS devices. However, they still have to go through a review process from Apple. The company said all apps will go through notarization, a process Apple uses to check basic app information and check security.

Apple told ZDNET that notarization is a more limited process than its traditional app review, which is performed on apps available in the App Store.

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