Apple Inc. is strongly against ‘Sideloading’, but only when it concerns iOS: Notarized apps for macOS have long used the practice

Apple Inc. iOS App Store Sideloading iPhone Apps
Thou shalt not sideload apps on an iPhone. Pic credit: Olle Eriksson/Flickr

Apple Inc., and particularly its iOS iPhone, are amidst a raging battle. One of the aspects on which Apple refuses to budge is allowing ‘Sideloading’ of apps. But the company’s macOS has always allowed and even promoted the practice for computers.

iOS App Store policies are extremely clear, and in the majority of cases, ironclad. But app developers and some users too are trying to get the iPhone maker to relax its laws.

Apple Inc. allowed third-party, external payments, but won’t allow Sideloading:

There is a legal storm raging in the walled garden of the iPhone ecosystem. It pertains to the multiple rules Apple imposes on the developers.

During a recent battle, Apple Inc. relented and allowed developers to communicate about third-party or external payment mechanisms. However, the company has imposed some restrictions that may eviscerate the advantages.

Additionally, the company is strictly against sideloading. It is a practice that allows a smartphone owner to install apps from outside of the App Store. Currently, the only way to deliver apps to iPhone and iPad users is through the tightly-controlled Apple App Store.

Multiple Apple Inc. executives have time and again claimed that denying sideloading on an iPhone is one of the best security measures. Senior employees routinely attempt to put Google’s Android and its relaxed policies in bad light.

Apple Inc. claims denying Sideloading protects iPhone users from malware, viruses, scams, fraudsters. But there’s no accurate or reliable “comparative” data to back that claim.

During a trial, a Judge observed: “While Mr. Federighi’s Mac malware opinions may appear plausible, they appear to have emerged for the first time at trial which suggests he is stretching the truth for the sake of the argument.”

“During deposition, he testified that he did not have any data on the relative rates of malware on notarized Mac apps compared to iOS apps. At trial, he acknowledged that Apple only has malware data collection tools for Mac, not for iOS, which raises the question of how he knows the relative rates.”

Simply put, Apple Inc. simply does not have comparative data because it doesn’t have tools to measure the same. iPhone users and smartphone buyers have just the company’s words as reassurance about iOS and App Store safety policies.

Apple Inc. openly allows external apps and applications on Mac PCs running macOS:

The iPhone maker claims the process of sideloading apps is “cybercriminal’s best friend.” However, while iPhone and iPad have always had such restrictions, the company openly allows and even promotes the practice on Mac PCs.

Apple Inc. reportedly helps developers securely distribute Mac apps outside of the App Store through notarization. In simple words, developers secure a “certificate” for third-party apps. And on top of this, macOS also lets users choose to install any apps if they want to.

Apple Inc. proudly claims it has a very strict and thorough review process for each and every app that appears on the iOS App Store. However, malicious developers sometimes manage to slip past using the “bait and switch” technique.

One of the best arguments to prevent Sideloading could be Apple preventing tech giants from easily ignoring the company’s policies. In case, Apple Inc. delists an app of a major tech giant, the company could simply offer an installer outside the App Store. Moreover, these companies won’t be bound by Apple Inc.’s policies and rules.

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