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Hell will freeze another day: Sideloading is still absent from iOS 17

It's unlikely that Apple would get through WWDC without mentioning sideloading, so maybe iOS 18 will get it.

Published onJune 6, 2023

iPhone 14 Pro showing cameras placed on a couch
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • iOS 17 beta 1 does not have anything related to iPhone sideloading.
  • Rumors heavily suggested that iPhones would get this power in 2023.
  • Perhaps the feature will roll out with iOS 18 in 2024.

At the end of last year, a report from Bloomberg suggested that iPhones could get the power to sideload apps in 2023. At the time, we posited that this would change iOS forever.

However, we are now through WWDC 2023 and have seen the first beta for iOS 17. Unfortunately, it looks like there were no iPhone sideloading features mentioned at the event, and iOS 17, at present, doesn’t have such a feature.

It is unlikely Apple would introduce sideloading with a later iOS 17 beta. It’s also unlikely that Apple would quietly push such a monumental shift in how iOS works outside of WWDC. In other words, we are pretty confident sideloading of iPhone apps won’t be available in 2023.

Of course, it is a certainty that Apple will launch this feature. Thanks to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, Apple doesn’t really have a choice in the matter, at least when it comes to Europe. There’s a possibility Apple would geo-lock sideloading to specific countries where it’s bound by law to do so, but that seems too messy for Apple.

The question, then, is when. It looks like folks who want iPhone sideloading will need to wait until 2024 and the launch of iOS 18. Although Apple could surprise us and roll it out before then, we’d expect to see it announced at the 2024 iteration of WWDC.

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