Apple Would Rather You Buy an Android Than Allow Sideloading iPhone Apps

Tim Cook Apple CEO Credit: Ringo Chiu / Shutterstock
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There’s been a lot of controversy regarding the App Store as of late. Many people have begged Apple to let iPhone users install apps outside of the App Store, commonly known as sideloading. However, Apple has made it pretty clear that it would actually rather you buy an Android phone than allow sideloaded apps.

Want to Sideload Apps? Get an Android

Just last November, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, explained during The New York Times DealBook summit that you can (and should) buy an Android if sideloading apps is important to you. He also further explained Apple’s point of view. To Apple, this matter is like buying a car.

Cook explained that it would be as “if I were an automobile manufacturer telling a customer not to put airbags and seat belts in the car.

To Apple, the risk of sideloading is too high, and “it would not be an iPhone if it didn’t maximize security and privacy.”

Sideloading | Good or Bad?

For those of us who didn’t know before all the buzz, sideloading is the action of installing apps on your device outside the device’s official app store. A great example is the popular free-to-play game Fortnite. Fortnite isn’t available on Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store on mobile. If you use an iPhone, you can’t download Fortnite. But, since Android devices allow sideloading, you could download Fortnite from Epic Games’ official website.

Of course, this is one of the many examples where sideloading is actually beneficial. Even though there are many great benefits from sideloading apps, including freedom of choosing which app store to download your games and apps from—which may also help developers— it doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. Scammers and cybercriminals can use sideloading to install malicious software on your device without you even noticing it.

Apple went as far as calling sideloading a “cybercriminal’s best friend.” Apple has also explained many times how Android phones have been victims of cyber attacks up to 47 times more often than iPhones, and how the company believes this all happens because of sideloading.

Possible Solution | Third-Party App Stores

Besides sideloading, Apple’s been under fire for the lack of third-party app stores on iPhone. On Android, besides using the Play Store, you can also download games from other third-party app stores like the Amazon app store. On the other hand, Apple devices are limited to only Apple’s official App Store.

Unfortunately for some, it seems like this won’t change any time soon. Apple’s still trying to keep the App Store as the only place to download apps, even if a new U.S. antitrust bill might force the company to allow other app stores on Apple devices. 

What Does the Future Look Like for the App Store?

The answer is quite simple: Apple won’t budge now, or possibly ever. The only possible reason why Apple would allow third-party app stores or sideloading on the iPhone and other Apple products is if it’s basically obliged by law. The App Store is the past, present, and future for the apps on any Apple device. 

So, if you’re waiting for the day when you can sideload apps on your iPhone, you might be better off following Tim Cook’s advice and getting an Android phone instead. 

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