This is the first third-party App Store that iPhone is forced to support in the EU

European iPhone users rejoice! Following Apple’s iOS 17.4 update, the door to third-party app stores has swung open. AltStore, already a familiar name in the Mac and Windows worlds, is bringing its platform to the iPhone in the EU.

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Developed by Riley Testut, AltStore promises a new avenue to explore apps. Likely available for download from Testut’s website once approved by Apple, it could be among the first third-party app stores on European iPhones.

While installation isn’t as simple as the App Store, it’s manageable.  You’ll visit the AltStore website and start the download. Your iPhone will warn you about installing from an untrusted source. Simply head to settings, enable the developer, and return to the website to complete the download.  Voila! AltStore awaits your app browsing adventures.

Using AltStore is a breeze. Similar to the App Store, app information pages offer a simple “install” button. But AltStore goes a step further.  “Sources” let you add additional app stores within AltStore, creating a layered app marketplace – a concept Testut playfully calls “Inception-esque.” While not available at launch, this feature is planned for shortly after release.

One important note: even third-party apps undergo a baseline security check by Apple to ensure user safety from malware and viruses. AltStore itself demonstrates this – their “Clip” clipboard manager required adjustments before being listed.  While these stores may not offer the same ironclad security as Apple’s, some level of risk mitigation is still present.

For those seeking apps beyond the App Store’s walls, AltStore offers exciting possibilities.  Apps like “Delta,” a gaming emulator for classic Nintendo and SEGA titles, are unavailable on the official store.  Only time will tell how actively Europeans embrace these alternatives, but with established names like AltStore entering the fray, the European iPhone app landscape is poised for a transformation.