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App Store bill that would allow sideloading on iPhone heads to the Senate

Apple App Store Awards 2021 Hero
Apple App Store Awards 2021 Hero (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The Open App Markets Act has been approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • The bill will now head to the Senate floor for a full vote.
  • It would allow apps to be installed on the iPhone outside of the App Store.

A bill that would allow sideloading on the iPhone is one step closer to becoming law.

In an update on Twitter, Senator Marsha Blackburn announced that the Open App Markets Act has passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee and is one step closer to becoming reality for all of us.

"The passage of the Open App Markets Act out of the Senate Judiciary Committee brings us one step closer to having this legislation signed into law. This bill will let people download apps directly from outside companies rather than being forced to go through official app stores."

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Apple has been pushing back against the bill, recently writing that, if the bill was passed by Congress, it would result in "malware, scams and data-exploitation to proliferate" on the iPhone and iPad.

"We are deeply concerned that the legislation, unless amended, would make it easier for big social media platforms to avoid the pro-consumer practices of Apple's App Store, and allow them to continue business as usual," Tim Powderly, the company's head of government affairs in the Americas, wrote in the letter."Sideloading would enable bad actors to evade Apple's privacy and security protections by distributing apps without critical privacy and security checks," he said. "These provisions would allow malware, scams and data-exploitation to proliferate."

The bill will now head to the Senate for a full floor vote. If passed into law, users would be able to download apps outside of the App Store onto the iPhone for the first time.

Joe Wituschek
Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

2 Comments
  • This needs to happen! There are too many that are concerned about malware etc. but breaking the monopoly of apps is LONG overdue.
  • "If passed into law, users would be able to download apps outside of the App Store onto the iPhone for the first time." Certainly Apple will say, darn, the Senate said so, so I guess we have too. Yes, the capability already exists and all it would take is Apple to flip a switch OTA. Really? While doing this is probably a step towards getting some pressure off of Apple's back, they certainly won't go quietly. I have some issues with governments telling businesses how to run their business. I don't go along with the monopoly argument. Simple solution for both consumers and developers that don't like how Apple does business. It's called Android.