Yes, Apple is working with the EU to enable sideloading - but what about the U.S?

Alt Store and Delta on iOS
(Image credit: iMore)

One of the biggest rumors at WWDC 2023, Sideloading, didn't make an appearance for iOS 17 at the keynote, but there's since been more word of what Apple is planning.

On John Gruber's The Talk Show, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi was asked about where sideloading was in iOS 17, and he replied that Apple is still working with the EU to comply with its wishes.

For those unaware, sideloading allows you to install third-party apps and App Stores without using Apple's own Store - so you could install games and other apps that would go against Apple's App Store rules.

Rumors intensified on the eve of WWDC, alongside a redesigned Control Center coming, but with Federighi's comment, where do we stand now?

A Sideshow

Gruber's The Talk Show Live has been a presence for years at WWDC, with at least two Apple folk discussing WWDC each year. This year Greg Joswiak, John Ternus, Mike Rockwell, and finally, Craig Federighi were guests on the show. Topics covered were Vision Pro, Mac Studio, Mac Pro, and everything else software-wise.

When it came to Federighi's appearance, he was faced with a detailed question from Gruber on sideloading. He answered, "We want to make sure that whatever we do, we're doing the right thing for our customers. We're working with the EU safe compliance and what that will look like."

He didn't directly address sideloading but acknowledged that it was something being discussed with the EU.

Donkey Kong Country 2 on Delta on iPad

(Image credit: iMore)

We spoke to Riley Testut back in February about Alt Store and Delta Emulator, creations that he and his team created and are still maintaining. Testut is in support of sideloading and makes a great case for it.

But it's hard to imagine that if iOS 17 allowed sideloading in only one part of the world, there isn't going to be a bunch of users who will want access to this as well.

Regardless, it looks like Apple will soon have no choice and will have to allow it through gritted 'Hair Force One' teeth.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's  Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.

  • Wotchered
    I don’t know if The UK is going along with the EU on this. how it all works will be interesting
  • Annie_M
    I agree it will be interesting. I will be content to watch and observe from afar... I have no desire to participate!