Should Apple let iPhone users download apps from beyond the App Store?24
But to this day Apple is holding an app store monopoly on its devices. iPhone and iPad users can only download Apple-approved apps that stick by Apple's values, share their revenue with the company and so on.
Publishers like Epic Games who disagree with Apple on the revenue cut, or developers who wish to publish an app that Apple doesn't approve of (e.g. torrenting apps, emulators) simply don't have a legitimate method of making their apps accessible to iOS and iPadOS users.
But aside from developers being unhappy with this, many iPad and iPhone users have expressed their frustration with not being able to download and install apps from third party app stores, especially considering the fact that Android users can do so. Android gamers have the option to download Fortnite from Epic's website and install it on their phones and tablets easily.
So, we'd love to hear your thoughts on whether iPhone and iPad users should be allowed to install apps from third party sources like Android users can. You can also cast your vote below.
But before that, let's consider both sides of the argument.
Why Apple should NOT let us install apps from other sources
Apple's main argument, and a very legit one, is security. Apple inspects and approves each app that's submitted to the App Store, so that iPhone and iPad users can get a consistently good, safe experience.
In addition, developers who publish apps on the App Store are required to clearly state for you – the user – what kind of private data they may collect from you for purposes such as advertising.
However, apps you download from alternative stores or websites can be extremely dangerous. Such apps can contain malware, steal your data or even completely corrupt your phone or tablet.
So we can see why Apple might be choosing to limit its users in favor of keeping them safe. This also adds to why iOS has a reputation of being significantly more secure than Android.
Why Apple SHOULD allow us to install apps from alternative app stores
If users are willing to take the risk and are well informed about third party apps, we could argue that they deserve to have the option of enabling app installations from third party sources.
In addition, we see that there are legitimate developers such as Epic Games who wish to, and probably should be able to deliver their apps to iOS users in alternative ways.
Also, I'm an avid iPad power user, and I know plenty of such people. Not being able to do whatever we want with this powerful "computer" – the iPad – is what keeps some of us returning to Android tablets eventually. I want to be able to run virtual machines on the iPad, for example, apps exist for that purpose but they're not allowed on the app store. It might sound very niche, but programmers and tinkerers are everywhere and can do crazy, amazing things with an iPad, if only Apple wasn't so strict about apps.
But it's not just about the pros. Many casual iPhone and iPad users have likely noticed that there are apps on the Google Play Store that aren't on the App Store because Apple disapproved of them, while Google did not. So...
What do you think?
Let us know – do you believe that this is a niche request and too much of a risk, or do you believe Apple users should have the same right to choose as Android users.