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Third Party Apps Coming To iPhone

In a response to the looming regulations in the European Union, Apple is reportedly working on deep changes to how iOS and the App Store work. According to Bloomberg, the company is even considering allowing alternative app stores on its devices. Now developer Riley Testut, who created AltStore, has shared his thoughts on iOS having official support for third-party app stores.

Third Party Apps Coming To iPhone

For those unfamiliar, the AltStore is an alternative app store for iOS that can be installed even without jailbreak by using some developer tools. If Apple eventually allows third-party app stores for iOS, users would be able to install AltStore on their iPhones and iPads without any system modifications or tricks.

According to Bloomberg, likely starting with next year's iOS 17 update, Apple is planning to let users install alternative app stores on their iOS devices. This capability might only be available in Europe, to comply with upcoming EU rules, and the company might only allow the installation of approved apps. Still, it would mark the first time Apple has ever officially allowed iPhone users to install apps from a source other than its own App Store. In the past, users could jailbreak their iPhones, but, of course, Apple has long warned against doing that.

Bloomberg said Apple's change of heart is due to the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA). This law will require Apple to allow third-party app stores in addition to sideloading, which is when you install software downloaded from the web. The EU has a schedule for when digital companies - including Google - must comply with the law, but the primary deadline is March 2024.

You can use iCloud with third-party apps on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. For an overview of what you can do with iCloud, see Keep third-party app data up to date on all your Apple devices with iCloud.

You must comply with applicable privacy laws around the world relating to the collection of data from children online. Be sure to review the Privacy section of these guidelines for more information. In addition, Kids Category apps may not send personally identifiable information or device information to third parties. Apps in the Kids Category should not include third-party analytics or third-party advertising. This provides a safer experience for kids. In limited cases, third-party analytics may be permitted provided that the services do not collect or transmit the IDFA or any identifiable information about children (such as name, date of birth, email address), their location, or their devices. This includes any device, network, or other information that could be used directly or combined with other information to identify users and their devices. Third-party contextual advertising may also be permitted in limited cases provided that the services have publicly documented practices and policies for Kids Category apps that include human review of ad creatives for age appropriateness.

Apps intended primarily for kids should not include third-party analytics or third-party advertising. This provides a safer experience for kids. In limited cases, third-party analytics and third-party advertising may be permitted provided that the services adhere to the same terms set forth in Guideline 1.3.

Apps offering VPN services must utilize the NEVPNManager API and may only be offered by developers enrolled as an organization. You must make a clear declaration of what user data will be collected and how it will be used on an app screen prior to any user action to purchase or otherwise use the service. Apps offering VPN services may not sell, use, or disclose to third parties any data for any purpose, and must commit to this in their privacy policy. VPN apps must not violate local laws, and if you choose to make your VPN app available in a territory that requires a VPN license, you must provide your license information in the App Review Notes field. Parental control, content blocking, and security apps, among others, from approved providers may also use the NEVPNManager API. Apps that do not comply with this guideline will be removed from the App Store and you may be removed from the Apple Developer Program.

Snapchat allows only certain third-party apps developed via Snap Kit, its developer toolset. Snapchat has blocked all other third-party apps. Using an unauthorized third-party app, such as SCOthman, Snapchat++, or Phantom, can result in the loss of your Snapchat account.

To delete a third-party app, long-press the app icon until it jiggles > tap Delete. Or, tap Settings > General > iPhone Storage > select the app you want to delete > Delete App.

There are several ways to get apps that aren't in the App Store. If you trust the app and its download source, you can trust a third-party app to add it on iPhone. Go Settings > General > Enterprise App, select the app, then tap Trust and Verify App.

Yes. If your application uses any third-party services that pass unique identifiers or create a shared identity of the user between applications from different companies for ad targeting, ad measurement or sharing with a data broker, your app will need to request permission from the user using the AppTrackingTransparency framework.

In both Netherlands and South Korea, where Apple has been forced to open its platform just a little, the company has made it arduous for developers to adopt third-party payment systems. It mandated that app makers must show elaborate warnings to users when they are about to use an alternative payment system, and in some cases, Apple has asked them to submit a separate app file for a particular market.

Twitter this week confirmed that it is no longer permitting third-party developers to create Twitter clients, with the information quietly shared in an updated developer agreement that was spotted by Engadget. A new clause under Restrictions says that developers are not able to "create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications."

This wording effectively bans all third-party apps such as Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Aviary, Echofon, Birdie, and others, and makes it clear that third-party Twitter apps are not going to come back at this time.

Third-party developers at no point received any communication from Twitter nor any warning about the shutdown, and Twitter never offered insight into what API rules might have been violated. As it turns out, Twitter is implementing a policy change that simply blocks third-party clients.

All popular Twitter clients such as Tweetbot and Twitterrific are no longer working, and the Twitter users that depended on these apps will now need to use the official Twitter app on iOS or Android or the Twitter experiences on the web. By cutting off third-party Twitter apps, Twitter will be able to serve ads to all users on its platforms.

Third-party Twitter apps have been around for more than a decade, and they were a popular choice for those who do not care for the default Twitter interface. There have long been complaints about Twitter's own app and the web experience, with third-party clients able to offer a much more palatable interface for many.

The developers behind Twitterrific confirmed that the Twitterrific apps for iOS and Mac have been pulled from Apple's App Stores as of today. Until this afternoon, Twitterrific for Mac was still functional, as Twitter had not uniformly cut off third-party clients.

In Privacy & Security you can select functions like Contacts, Photos and Camera to see which third-party apps have requested permission to access this information. Tapping Contacts, for example, might show that a note taking app has access to your contacts list. You can tap the slider next to these apps to halt access.

Third-party Twitter apps like Tweetbot and Twitterrific have been intentionally blocked from using Twitter APIs, Twitter confirmed today. Without access to the underlying code for the social network, Tweetbot, Twitterrific, Birdie, Echofon, and other popular Twitter clients are non-functional and cannot be used.

Twitter's Dev account today said in a tweet that Twitter is "enforcing its long-standing API rules," a change that could cause some apps not to work. There has been no word on which API rules the blocked Twitter clients have violated, and this is the first time that Twitter has provided insight into what's going on with third-party Twitter apps since they stopped working last Thursday.

When some third-party Twitter apps became unusable last week, it was initially believed that there could be some kind of bug causing the outage. Only the most popular Twitter clients were affected and blocked from Twitter's APIs, perhaps indicating an internal error. As Twitter declined to comment on the situation for days, however, it became clearer that it was an intentional decision. Over the weekend, The Information said that in an internal Slack channel, a senior software engineer at Twitter clarified that the suspensions were done on purpose, suggesting many Twitter employees were not even aware of what was going on.

It is not known why Twitter has provided so little information on what is happening to highly popular third-party Twitter apps that have existed for years, nor if these apps will again be provided with access to the API if changes are made. Developers like Iconfactory and Tapbots (responsible for Twitterrific and Tweetbot, respectively), received no warning about the shutdown and were not provided with information on why their apps stopped working.

MacStories, for example, called Twitter's actions "disgraceful" and "unprofessional," with Twitter demonstrating a "total lack of respect" for the role that third-party apps have played in the success of the social network.

At this point, it isn't clear when or if we're going to get more information about third-party Twitter clients from Twitter, nor if the apps that have had their API access revoked will be back in some capacity. Tapbots is now speeding up development on Ivory, its app for the Mastodon social network, and Twitterrific's Craig Hockenberry said that he will be exploring the concept of a truly universal timeline that leverages how open standards can be used in "new and different ways."

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