Apple has just published a new user guide that details what life would be like for iOS users if Apple were forced to allow the sideloading of third-party apps. The report, which was published this morning, is called Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps and describes Apple’s view on the importance of having a curated and managed App Store be the only way that iOS devices can download new apps.

A study found that devices that run on Android had 15 times more infections from malicious software than iPhone, with a key reason being that Android apps “can be downloaded from just about anywhere,” while everyday iPhone users can only download apps from one source: the App Store.

In the report, Apple details how important the iPhone is to many of our lives, not only for the ways we use them but also in the amount of data they know about us. Because we carry them everywhere we go, they know our location, have built-in cameras and microphones and are the primary way we communicate with our friends, family, and coworkers.

In the report, Apple takes readers on a guided tour of the potential dangers of life without the App Store by detailing the protection the App Store puts into place to prevent unauthorized purchases from children, the protection that Apple gives to your personal photos and videos from prying apps, and the possibility that you could be paying for pirated versions of apps without knowing it.

The iPhone is used by over a billion people, so it would become a large attack target compared to its other platforms like Mac. Apple also details the ways that macOS and iOS are different and used differently by their users. In the report, Apple says they take a heightened approach to security on iPhone compared to Mac because the expectations and behaviors are different.

Apple’s app protections in action in 2020

In the report Apple details some of the actions it took in 2020 to protect user data and prevent fraudulent purchase:

100,000 new apps and updates are reviewed every week on average by
a team of over 500 dedicated experts, who review apps in different languages.

Nearly one million problematic new apps and a similar number of updates were rejected or removed:– More than 150,000 for being spam or copycats, or misleading users– More than 215,000 for violating privacy guidelines– More than 48,000 for containing hidden or undocumented features– About 95,000 for fraudulent violations, predominantly for including “bait and switch” functionalities to commit criminal or other forbidden actions

Apple stopped over $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions.

Apple expelled 470,000 teams from the Apple Developer Program for fraud-related reasons. It also rejected nearly 205,000 developer enrollment attempts over fraud concerns.

Apple deactivated 244 million customer accounts due to fraudulent and abusive activity, including fake reviews. It also rejected 424 million attempted account creations due to fraudulent and abusive patterns.

You can read the entire report and see more on Apple’s point of view on sideloading.

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About the Author

Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.

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