Here's your first look at installing apps in the EU on iPhone without the App Store — prolific emulator developer reveals AltStore interface

Delta on iPhone playing a SEGA Genesis game
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Riley Testut, creator of AltStore (a storefront that allows you to download apps without the App Store), has revealed how users in the European Union will be able to install apps without the App Store in iOS 17.4, via his alternative storefront.

Showcased on Threads, the process is straightforward — AltStore will likely be able to be downloaded from Testut’s AltStore site. After it’s installed, users can select from the apps available, and there’ll be an ‘Install App’ button — followed by a prompt for users to make sure that they want to install an app, and... that’s it. There will be relatively few hoops to jump through.

AltStore already offers apps that aren’t allowed in Apple’s App Store — such as Delta, a gaming emulator, also created by Testut, that can run games from Nintendo and SEGA consoles from the past.

Back in January, iMore spoke to Testut about his thoughts of Apple allowing new App Stores in the EU. He stated that he was “Honestly, extremely overwhelmed!” 

“This was more or less exactly what I’ve been hoping for since launching AltStore almost 5 years ago, and it was incredibly surreal reading through all the documentation.”

That enthusiasm is still going, as Testut has since mentioned in another Threads post that AltStore and Delta will launch soon for iPhone users in the EU.

With the Digital Markets Act now in effect, Apple was forced to make changes in how the iPhone works in EU countries, such as allowing third-party app stores onto Apple’s handset for the first time.

Opening up the floodgates? — iMore’s take

Post by @rileytestut
View on Threads

I’ve installed AltStore before through a different process in the past — I had to install an app called AltServer on my Mac, as well as a plugin for the Mail app, which together allowed the store to appear on my iPhone. Both Testut’s store and Delta are well designed, and I’ve been able to easily play Nintendo 64 games on my iPhone 15 Pro Max.

It feels as though we’re on the precipice of multiple app stores coming soon for EU users — for example, after games developer Epic Games was banned, then unbanned by Apple, its Epic Games Store is set to debut on iPhone soon, where you’ll be able to download and play Fortnite in the EU.

Once AltStore is released, I’m expecting a lot of apps to come to the store that simply aren’t allowed on Apple’s App Store. For instance, we could see more virtualization apps like UTM arrive, offering similar functions to what the Parallels Desktop app provides on a Mac.

I’m excited for all of these possibilities to become a reality — I just hope that Apple eventually allows this change in the EU to apply to other countries in the future.

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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.