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iOS 17.5 Beta 2 Adds Support for Installing iPhone Apps from Websites: Report

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In Short:

Apple rolled out iOS 17.5 Beta 2 with new features for beta testers, including the ability to install apps directly from websites in the EU. The update follows last month’s introduction of support for alternative app marketplaces. Developers must meet certain criteria to use the new Web Distribution feature, and will be charged a fee for app installs over one million. Non-profits are exempt from fees.

iOS 17.5 Beta 2 introduces web app downloads in EU

The latest iOS 17.5 Beta 2 has been rolled out to beta testers, bringing new features and functionality that are expected to be available on eligible iPhone models next month. One of the significant changes coming with iOS 17.5 is the ability to download apps directly from websites for users in the European Union, allowing developers to distribute apps without relying on alternative app marketplaces or the App Store. This feature will be exclusive to the EU.

Web Distribution Feature

MacRumors discovered the new ability to download apps from websites with the latest iOS 17.5 beta, released this Tuesday. Apple had previously introduced support for alternative app marketplaces in the EU with iOS 17.4, and the upcoming update aims to expand sideloading by enabling users to install apps from a developer’s website outside the App Store.

Apple announced the development of a Web Distribution feature last month, which allows authorized developers to distribute their apps directly from their websites. This feature provides access to iOS APIs for backup and restore support, iOS integration, and automatic updates without relying on an app store.

What are the new features of iOS 17.5 Beta 2 and how does it compare to the potential app quarantine feature in Android 15?

The new features of iOS 17.5 Beta 2 include enhanced security measures and improved compatibility with third-party apps. This update also introduces a more streamlined user interface and added functionality for multitasking. In comparison, the potential android app quarantine feature in Android 15 aims to provide increased protection against malicious apps and potential security threats.

Eligibility Criteria and Fees

It is important to note that not all developers will automatically qualify for Web Distribution. Apple has specified criteria that developers must meet, including being part of the developer program for two years, having at least one app with one million downloads in the EU, and being incorporated, domiciled, or registered in the EU as an organization.

While developers can opt for Web Distribution to distribute their apps via their websites, Apple will charge a Core Technology Fee (CTF) of EUR 0.50 (approximately Rs. 45) for every annual app install over one million. Non-profit organizations will be exempt from the CTF fees and the Apple Developer Program membership fee in the EU.

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