It seems, after all, that iOS 17 could be the main protagonist of the next WWDC 2023, even in the hypothetical case that the presentation of the long-awaited Apple mixed reality viewer is confirmed, if it is finally presented at said event. And no, I’m not saying this because of the low expectations that the device seems to have generated in some employees and former employees of the company, as well as in some analysts (although that also counts, of course). No, I say this because the new version of the iPhone operating system aims to surprise us.
There is not much mystery, since you already know what I am talking about since I mentioned it in the headline, and that is that iOS 17 could allow sideloading of apps, a breakthrough that comes from Mark Gurman, in his popular weekly Power On newsletter. Obviously, this does not give us absolute certainty that his prognosis will come true, since on other occasions he has made mistakes in his advances, but as a general rule he tends to be quite accurate, so we can grant him a good margin of confidence.
As you already know, the lateral load, or sideload, consists of allowing the loading and installation of apps without using the device’s application store for this purpose. This function has always been present in Android, where you can download a binary from any source and install it in the operating system, but on the contrary, Apple has never allowed this type of operation, in the same way that it does not allow third-party stores on iOS either, for so the only way to bypass these limitations is the jailbreak.
It is known that the European legal framework, sooner or later, will force Apple to allow third-party stores and third-party payment methods on iOS, and this movement will surely be replicated in other geographies until it extends to a large part of the world. Thus, we can understand that this surprise of iOS 17 is directly related to Apple’s plans to adapt, with a margin of time, to said regulations, thus avoiding having to assume economic sanctions like the ones it already had to face last year in Netherlands.
Nevertheless, It is surprising that it is spoken before sideloading what of alternative stores. Apple has always justified not allowing third-party stores for security reasons, but the truth is that it is potentially more dangerous to allow the loading of apps from any source than to limit it to stores that have been validated by Apple to be in iOS 17. This, Without a doubt, it is the point that most puzzles Gurman’s prediction, but after all we are talking about Apple, so anything is possible.