Marco Arment on “The future of the App Store”


After the dust settles from the developer class-action settlement, the South Korean law, the JFTC announcement, and the Apple v. Epic decision, I think the most likely long-term outcome isn’t very different from the status quo — and that’s a good thing.

Lots of interesting points made, worth reading. Among the most important, is this bit about “side loading”:

I don’t expect side-loading or alternative app stores to become possible, and I’m relieved, because that is not a future I want for iOS.


Facebook owns four of the top ten apps in the world. If side-loading became possible, Facebook could remove Instagram, WhatsApp, the Facebook app, and Messenger from Apple’s App Store, requiring customers to install these extremely popular apps directly from Facebook via side-loading.

And everyone would.


Facebook would soon have apps that bypassed App Review installed on the majority of iPhones in the world.

I do get the logic here. My worry is that the forces that push Apple to make changes (think politicians, lobbyists, and anti-trust investigators) might not have the technical understanding of the implications Marco points out above.