Apple SVP steps up fight against sideloaded apps - Mobile World Live

Apple SVP steps up fight against sideloaded apps

03 NOV 2021

LIVE FROM WEB SUMMIT 2021: Apple SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi (pictured) cautioned against a mulled rule allowing third-party apps to be sideloaded on iOS devices, arguing such a move would leave consumers without a choice of a secure mobile platform.

At the conference, Federighi cited data comparing malware infections in different operating systems to prove a point stating the approach taken by Apple, which does not allow sideloading on its devices, has worked.

The Apple executive expressed concern any requirement for the company to allow sideloading would “open up a Pandora’s box of unreviewed malware-ridden software and deny everyone the option of iPhone’s secure approach”.

Federighi likened the situation to building a side door on the ground floor of a person’s home which would always be unlocked, as sideloading of apps would act as “a cybercriminal’s best friend” and requiring it on iOS would be “a gold rush” for the malware industry.

Regarding an argument stating people should choose whether to sideload apps or not, instead of Apple forbidding it, Federighi said there were risks as people are routinely tricked into doing it.

“Even if you never sideload, your iPhone and data are less safe in a world where Apple is forced to allow it”, he maintained, adding users should be able to choose between “an iPhone with its security and privacy-first approach, and other platforms that may allow sideloading”.

Apple indicated similar concerns in June, explaining how users could be harmed if allowed to install apps from sources the company had not reviewed.

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Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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