Sideloading iOS apps is currently not possible in the default setting of Apple’s most popular mobile operating system. But for many it’s a pipe dream. Even for the people who haven’t jailbroken their devices yet. But if you ask Craig Federighi, it doesn’t look like Apple is even considering the idea.
Federighi, who oversees both iOS and macOS software efforts, spoke recently at this year’s fair Web summit . And he hasn’t minced his mouth when it comes to iOS security, especially when it comes to sideloading apps. He said this:
Sideloading is a cybercriminal’s best friend, and to ask for it on iPhone would be a gold rush for the malware industry.
Federighi spoke out against the law on digital markets proposed by the European Commission. If it passes, Apple would have to allow users to install apps from outside the app store. Obviously, that’s not great for Apple’s business in general, even if it’s only a small fraction of the company’s overall money-making initiatives.
Federighi says there are “5 million Android attacks per month” when it comes to malware. And that’s what Federighi is commenting on here, saying that allowing sideloading on iOS would just open the floodgates. Federighi argues that the lack of this “feature” in iOS is why malware attacks are not a big deal compared to major mobile operating system competitors in the marketplace.
Federighi also has an argument when it comes to letting users choose when to sideload apps or not. The Apple executive argues that criminals are great at hiding by hiding “in sight”, even if they tried to implement something that would allow users to choose when to install apps from the App Store want, malware would still take root.
There are many ways that users can be misled, whether they know or not, says Federighi. Opening up the opportunity for more users to be fooled just doesn’t seem like something Apple even wants to entertain.
In conclusion, Federighi says:
The fact that malware can harm anyone is not something we should stand for.
At this point, it’s worth noting that despite Apple’s strict rules and guidelines for the App Store, there are plenty of rogue apps that can be downloaded directly from Apple’s digital storefront. There are many scam apps out there that have actually been approved by the App Store reviewers.
Whatever Apple wants could be a moot point as many government agencies are starting to take matters into their own hands.