Apple has made a change to its developer software Xcode that could help customers download, share and run thousands of apps for free.
Apple didn’t say anything about it on stage at WWDC, its annual developer conference, but it has tweaked Xcode to allow users to “sideload” apps.
9to5Mac explains that sideloading is where people download or build an app, then put it directly on their phone. You used to have to be a fully fledged Apple developer to do that, paying $US99 a year for a developer account.
But the latest version of Xcode does away with the requirement that only developers can sideload apps onto their iPhone. That’s hugely exciting news for developers and customers — now developers can release apps outside of the App Store, as long as they release open source versions of them.
One Reddit user suggests that Apple’s change could herald the start of an “app Renaissance,” where users are free to download and install any app they like, outside of Apple’s App Store restrictions. One user joins in the excitement, commenting “Free Open Source on iOS… here we go! This iOS 9 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing…”
Sideloading could mean that users will be able to play the banned game “Phone Story” on their iPhones again. The app was released in 2011 and criticised Apple’s manufacturing process, but Apple booted it from its App Store shortly after release.
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