First iPhone App Store competitor opens with a Nintendo emulator

First iPhone App Store competitor opens with a Nintendo emulator
The antitrust legislation that the European Commission enforced on Apple in order to make it open its walled software garden for third-party solutions in the iOS 17.4 update, is now ripe for the picking. 

Besides real alternatives to Apple's Safari browser and other default iOS software it has been using to block competition from day one, Apple will now have to allow alternatives to its whole App Store experience, too. If the iPhone owner leaves Europe, though, they will have one month to return before Apple freezes updates with privacy and security excuses.

These are precisely the excuses and warnings Apple is employing to scare users away from installing the first official third-party app store competitor in Europe, called AltStore PAL

After tapping through the numerous privacy and security warnings, one can install the alternative app market on their iPhone or iPad, and it comes with features that Apple's official App Store would have never allowed otherwise.

Besides ushering in the era of official app sideloading for iPhone users in Europe, the aptly named AltStore also comes with long-desired options, such as console emulators, and with a good reason, as per the store's founders:

That's right, AltStore PAL directly offers a Nintendo emulator it calls Delta. The emulator for old games from the beloved console series allows for loading Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS titles, as well as NES, SNES, or Nintendo 64 games.

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Another features that Apple went at length to ban from its App Store, is the capable clipboard copy manager called Clip. It, however, requires a small contribution, while the Delta emulator that also launched in the App Store outside Europe, is free.

To install the first alternative third-party app store for iPhones that doesn't require jailbreaking or other shenanigans, Apple’s new Core Technology Fee needs to be offset somehow. This is why the AltStore PAL creators are charging €1.50 plus VAT tax for the installation, and to cover Apple's fee for such third-party apps thereafter. 

A rather small price to pay for freedom, but it remains to be seen what kind of uptake such alternatives to Apple's default iPhone and iPad iOS software will gain in Europe that is increasingly becoming a giant sideload playground.

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