Apple Updates TestFlight and App Store Connect Before Adding Third-Party App Marketplace Support in the EU

Applications from third parties that plan to be distributed through alternate markets can now be submitted to Apple for notarization.

Apple has been preparing to unlock iOS so that independent app stores and apps on its platform can operate in the European Union (EU). The iOS 17.4 beta versions of the next update, which enabled support for other marketplaces, were just released. In order to onboard these developers, the iPhone manufacturer has now provided upgrades for TestFlight and App Store Connect applications. Additionally, it has requested submissions from the other markets for the third-party programs that will be made accessible on iOS in order to begin the notarization process.

Developers in the EU may now link their markets to the App Store Connect app, which allows developers to track their app’s sales and downloads, respond to App Store reviews, receive notifications for new reviews, and more. Apple made these modifications to the two applications public on its developer website. The TestFlight program, which enables developers to beta-test new features before releasing them, has also undergone adjustments.

But before other markets are included in the iOS ecosystem, developers must accept Apple’s conditions of business and finish the notarization procedure. As per a MacRumors source, Apple is collecting a core technology charge based on the quantity of installations for both the app and the marketplace. The fee for each installment will be EUR 0.50 (about Rs. 45) for third-party markets, and applications will be required to pay the same amount once reaching one million instalments.

Third-party markets and applications will also benefit from the notarization process since Apple will use it to assess whether or not an app is dangerous. Although such a procedure is necessary to protect users from con artists and hackers, others have expressed worries about whether Apple may use it to exclude rival markets and apps.

The CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, was one of the people who complained when Apple originally revealed the procedure. In an article on X (the old name for Twitter), he referred to the installment payment as a “junk fee.” Regarding the notarization procedure, he declared, “We vehemently oppose Apple’s use of this process to stifle competition and keep levying Apple taxes on transactions they are not involved in. Epic has always supported the idea of Apple notarization and malware screening for apps.”

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