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Apple updates sideloaded app policy, clarifies 'grace period' length

The grace period only affects updating sideloaded apps.

Published onMarch 7, 2024

Apple iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max 3
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority
  • Apple has updated its support page about third-party app stores in the EU.
  • The page now says that users can be outside of the EU for 30 days before losing access to certain sideloading features.

After rolling out iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4, Apple laid out the rules on how it would handle third-party app stores on its platform. In a support document, the company revealed that EU users would lose access to certain sideloading features if they leave the EU for too long, but didn’t specify the length of time. Apple has now updated that support page to provide more clarification.

Yesterday, Apple published a support page explaining that eligibility for alternative app marketplaces is “determined by using on-device processing.” It also mentioned that if customers venture outside of the EU for any reason, there would be a “grace period” before they lose access to some features like updating apps through third-party app stores.

The Cupertino-based firm has now clarified that this grace period will last for 30 days. So if you’re gone for longer than a month, you”ll have to wait until you’re back in the EU to update the apps you sideloaded. However, those apps will continue to work no matter how long you stay outside of the eligible area.

This grace period only affects your ability to update sideloaded apps. You’ll lose your ability to install apps outside of the App Store or download new marketplaces as soon as your device finds out you left the EU.

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