Such as sitting on needles, such as thorns on the back, such as knuckles in the throat, these three words should be able to describe Apple’s recent situation well.
Picture from: Gamerant
The “dispute” with Epic Games is not over yet, and the European Union has opened a monopoly investigation against Apple.
The so-called is that there are wolves in the front and tigers and leopards in the back. The days are a bit bumpy.
At the same time, the U.S. Congress is preparing to defend six anti-monopoly bills. After passing, one of them is to conduct more stringent review of the iOS closed application system.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Commission launched an antitrust investigation on the Apple App Store in accordance with the Digital Market Act (DMA) promulgated last year.
As if to stand, Apple may be punished by a fine of 10% of global revenues. According to Apple’s revenue in fiscal year 2020, the 10% fine is approximately RMB 177.7 billion, which can be described as a sky-high price.
And the European Union “in accordance with the law” will force Apple to open up the iOS system, allowing it to install applications outside the App Store, that is, support sideloading (or sideloading, Sideloading) applications.
Coincidentally, the antitrust bill being debated in the US Congress may also force iOS to open up and allow sideloading of apps.
Similarly, when Apple and Epic Games were fighting in April this year, many players of “Fortnite” asked Apple to open their side-loading permissions to be able to install “Fortnite”, which was rejected by Cook. .
Whether it is the European Union, the United States, or the epic battle with Epic Games, they are aimed at iOS that does not support “side-loading” applications.
What is a sideload application?
Side-loaded apps refer to third-party apps that are installed and tested without restrictions without going through the official app store.
For Apple iOS, it means installing apps without going through the App Store.
Earlier iOS versions can directly install the App through the IPA file.
In the development period of Android, Windows, iOS and other systems, they all support side-loading applications, which is intended to facilitate developers to test applications that are not on the shelf.
In iOS 9 and previous systems, Apple can also sideload through iTunes without security measures such as digital authentication . Remember that when using iPhone 5s, it also bypassed the App Store through iTunes to install some special apps.
TestFlight developer application testing platform. Picture from: 9to5Mac
In subsequent iOS updates, Apple gradually tightened the “side loading” permissions. Until now, sideloading can only pass the TestFlight developer application test platform, and the permission rules of the TestFlight test platform are gradually improved.
TestFlight also has internal testing and public testing. The internal testing requires an invitation code (redemption code), and there is a limit on the number of people. In the public beta, you can open the link directly in Safari, but apps that enter the public beta process must be reviewed by Apple before they can be “tested” and distributed on a large scale.
At the same time, side loading still exists on Android, Windows and even macOS, but it is turned off by default. But users can still open it in menus such as “System Security” and “Developer Mode”, so that they can install third-party apps at will.
It is this feature that has created the opening of Android and the closure of iOS, and has also put the App Store at the center of the current storm.
Will Apple compromise?
In the past, in the face of investigations and allegations, most of Apple “does not comment” and let the results speak. As now a anti-normal, a lot of executives active.
Apple CEO Tim Cook pointed out on VivaTech that “the number of malware on Android is about 47 times that of iOS.” This is one of the reasons why iOS remains “closed.”
Subsequently, Cook also stated in a live broadcast with Brut America that under the European Union’s DMA Act, the iPhone may be forced to open sideloading, which would “break the security of the iPhone” and make the iPhone more like an Android phone.
In addition, when communicating with Fast Company, Apple’s user privacy director Erik Neuenschwander said that “Apple can open up the function of bypassing the App Store and installing apps at will”, but doing so will lead to The user is deceived or fooled.
Picture from: Macrumors
It even hinted that users who want the system to have side-loading applications can consider other platforms. The implication is Android, and not opening side-loading is the bottom line of iOS.
In other words, in the face of “anti-monopoly” investigations on the App Store around the world, Apple will not compromise on opening up sideloading permissions.
At the same time, Apple released a 16-page document to the outside world. The content theme is that the existence of the “App Store” has established a trusted App ecosystem.
This document focuses on the threats, fraud, and extortion of downloading unreviewed apps from the third-party app market. And these third-party apps will continue to collect users’ private information, and risks are everywhere, making you hard to guard against.
With the App Store’s review mechanism, in 2020, Apple rejected nearly a million problematic apps from launching and updating, including 150,000 “counterfeit” apps, more than 200,000 apps that violated privacy rules, and Nearly 100,000 apps are suspected of fraud and deception, etc.
Therefore, Apple indirectly or directly prevented more than $1.5 billion in potential fraud. In this way, the “closed” App Store has contributed the most.
In fact, whether it is the remarks of Apple executives or the 16-page document, they are undoubtedly telling legislators in the European Union or the United States that if antitrust investigations and reforms continue to be promoted, the huge iOS user base in Europe and the United States will fall into a huge risks of.
“A consumer, or a small business in Europe”, “Which one do you choose?” This is Apple’s response to the EU’s antitrust investigation.
Is it just a safety risk to support “sideloading”?
As ordinary consumers, we should not pay attention to the deep meaning behind the EU antitrust investigation, but should pay attention to whether the “closed” iOS and Android that support sideloading applications are really “safe”.
From a domestic point of view, the current custom Android systems default to the option of “installing from unknown sources” turned off, and when installing third-party applications, there will be a detection process and a risk prompt will pop up.
In addition, domestic customized systems have regarded “privacy”, application “behavior records” and other functions as “features,” and these features and functions have become a major development direction of domestic customized systems.
In the larger environment, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has gradually carried out in-depth rectification of apps on a regular basis. Among the 291 apps that infringe user rights and interests in the latest notification, there are many well-known software such as Evernote , 51job , Douban , and Maopu.
In iOS, even though it has a strict, complete and orderly review mechanism, there is always a fish that slips through the net. In recent years, there are still many cases of app deception to purchase. The most recent one is an app called “Privacy Assitant: StringVPN”.
The developers of StringVPN deceived the App Store recommendation algorithm by scoring the App to obtain better search recommendations. Since StringVPN’s name is similar to StrongVPN, many users downloaded it and were defrauded of an annual fee of $89.99.
Whether it’s Android or iOS, system security is not absolute, and sideloading is the same. Not supporting sideloading does avoid some malicious risks, but it does not equate sideloading with danger.
In addition to security, open sideloading applications may also affect the revenue of the App Store. There is a delicate balance between the App Store and the developers.
After the sideloading permission is opened, many users may be inclined to download from third-party markets, and even get some paid applications for free, destroying the virtuous circle created by Apple and harming Apple and the corresponding application developers.
The unique developer environment created by Apple and the App Store with a large number of high-quality applications will all be gone. The advantages of iOS or Apple products will gradually disappear.
Compared with the security risks it has suffered, the App Store ecosystem, which is gradually out of control after opening sideloading, may be the aspect that Apple cares more about.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-eu-wants-to-turn-the-iphone-into-an-android-phone/
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