Third-Party App Store Knock-On Effects

Riley Testut, who runs AltStore, has some thoughts on Apple’s rumoured work on complying with E.U. regulations by permitting third-party marketplaces for native apps. The whole Twitter thread is worth reading, but I thought this part was especially thoughtful:

Here’s what I see happening:

Instagram? They moved to Meta’s store for obvious reasons, so you can no longer receive updates unless you also install Meta’s store

That note taking app you’ve been using for years? They’re tired of paying Apple 30%, so they’re now in Epic’s store!

Now you HAVE to use 3 different app stores, or else you’ll lose access to the apps you’re already using!

So yes, it’s a choice — but the choice is NOT “do I use 3rd party stores to get cool new apps”

Instead it’s: do I use 3rd party stores *just to keep using my current apps*

I am sure Apple is concerned about these issues, but it is something worth thinking about. Testut proposes adding only sideloading capabilities instead of permitting third-party stores. Whatever the case, I hope the result is not the alternative form of gatekeeping in Testut’s thread. I know this is not what Apple wants to be doing but, if it plays this right, it could be a great opportunity for users and developers alike.