Two bipartisan legislation aimed at breaking Apple and Google’s stranglehold on the app store business are making their way through Congress. Sideloading refers to the practise of downloading software from locations other than the Apple and Google app stores. Users may already browse third-party software stores through Google, but Apple exclusively permits downloads through its App Store. More articles may be found on Insider’s business page. It’s difficult to keep track of the slew of legislative proposals aimed at reining in digital firms. However, one of them is especially directed at Apple and Google’s app stores – and if approved, it might transform the way you download programmes on your smartphone.
Sideloading apps means they wouldn’t go through Apple’s vetting process, which is why the company said in a sweeping, 16-page post in June that that would “expose users to serious security risks,” like cybercriminals and malware. However, the bill’s architects say it would include safety guards for people’s privacy. Google and Apple, but specifically the latter, have faced condemnation over what critics say is the unfair advantage they wield with their popular and lucrative app stores, which generated a stunning $111 billion in 2020, according to Sensor Tower.
Dubbed the Open App Markets Act, it would let you install apps from places other than Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store, which both come pre-installed on iPhones and Androids, respectively. The industry calls that sideloading, and if it’s allowed, would mark a turning point in the companies’ iron grip on how people access apps and use their phones. Google allows its users to access third-party app stores already, but Apple doesn’t.
Both companies take a 15% to 30% cut of all purchases made in apps, but their own apps are exempt from the fee. For example, that could mean users paying for items in the popular “Fornite” app or for premium service on dating apps like Tinder.
- The way you download and pay for apps may be about to change dramatically
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