Apple Rolls Out iOS 17.4 with EU-Exclusive Sideloading Feature

March 06, 2024 – Apple has officially released iOS 17.4, introducing a significant change with the addition of sideloading functionality. This new feature allows users to download applications from sources other than the App Store. However, it comes with a notable restriction: the sideloading capability is exclusively available in the European Union, and it will become inactive if users leave the region.

According to Apple, sideloading can only be accessed by users whose Apple IDs and locations are set to the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

The company emphasizes that users must physically be within the EU to utilize the sideloading feature. Devices will monitor the user’s geographical location, although Apple assures that “servers will not capture the user’s precise location.”

If a user briefly exits the EU, the sideloading functionality will remain operational. However, if the system detects that the user’s location is outside the EU for an extended period, it will disable the sideloading feature. Once sideloading becomes inactive, users will be unable to update applications from third-party app stores.

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