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Setapp's alternative iOS app store is now available in the EU, but there's a catch

The new iOS app store is currently in beta, and accessing it requires an invite.
By

Published onMay 15, 2024

iPhone 14 Pro in hand with the display on
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Setapp Mobile is an alternative app store available to EU-based iOS users, but it’s currently limited to invited members.
  • This new app store plans to host and highlight high-quality applications with no ads or in-app purchases.
  • Paid Setapp subscribers can try the new app store for free during the invite-only period.

Setapp Mobile is a new iOS app store from developer MacPaw that is available to select EU users. This marketplace aims to primarily host premium apps without ads or in-app purchases. For a flat monthly fee, users will get direct access to high-quality software on their iPhones.

According to the company, Setapp Mobile won’t host games, social media platforms, or giant content creators like Netflix. Instead, it plans to offer users a curated assortment of high-quality apps — not compete with or replace Apple’s App Store.

For those unfamiliar, Setapp has been offering a similar subscription service globally for years. iPhone and Mac users can pay a monthly fee to access a wide range of premium apps. However, given Apple’s restrictions, the installation process on iOS is relatively complex.

Setapp Mobile will simplify the process for EU-based iPhone users, as Apple now officially supports third-party app stores. Nevertheless, the new app store still has some downsides. For example, unlike the existing Setapp service, Setapp Mobile only offers around a dozen apps right now. By the time it exits beta, it plans to increase that number to around 50. So, many users may not justify paying a recurring fee, given how limited the app library is.

Eligible users who already pay for a Setapp plan can try Setapp Mobile for free during the invite-only period. Once the new app store is out of beta, certain users will be prompted to upgrade to a higher-tier plan to retain access.

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