The tech giants Apple and Google are facing a major challenge from the U.S. government regarding their app store policies. According to reports, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is intent on forcing major changes to the app industry, which could affect both companies.
The issue is the concept of “sideloading” – downloading and installing a third-party app storefront instead of the official app stores of Apple and Google. This has long been a contention between the two companies and the app developers who wish to distribute their products outside their respective stores.
Apple has long argued that sideloading is a security risk, and therefore the company does not allow it on the iPhone. Android users may sideload apps, but it is not recommended as it may lead to downloading malicious software. However, Europe’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) has forced Apple to allow sideloading on the continent, with iOS 17 expected to be the first installment to support the feature.
The DMA has also changed the game for app developers, who can bypass the 15%-30% cut that Apple and Google charge for in-app purchases and subscriptions. It is expected that the U.S. government will also push for Apple to allow sideloading on the iPhone, which is why both companies have a lot at stake here.
If Apple and Google fail to comply with the FTC’s demands, they could potentially face hefty fines and other consequences. It might have a ripple effect on the app industry as a whole, so it is worth keeping an eye on.
There is yet to be a clear indication of how the FTC’s policies will affect Apple and Google. Now, the consumer will have to wait and see how the situation unfolds, but one thing is certain – this could be a major turning point for the app industry.