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Apple earlier today published a detailed report outlining in blatant terms the negative impact that sideloading would have on the iPhone and iPad, specifically calling out the impacts it would have on user privacy and security. Now, the company is continuing its PR push, with an executive noting in an interview that users who wish to sideload apps already have that option thanks to other platforms.

iPhone-12-v-Android-2020.jpg

Speaking to Fast Company, Apple's head of user privacy, Erik Neuenschwander, said that opening the doors to sideloading apps on iPhone and iPad, which would enable users to download apps from the web and other app marketplaces besides Apple's App Store, could lead users to be "tricked or duped" into "some dark alley."

The executive, who made an appearance at the company's developer conference last year, ultimately said that iOS is not the platform for users who wish to sideload apps, suggesting that those users might want to consider other platforms.
"Sideloading in this case is actually eliminating choice," he says. "Users who want that direct access to applications without any kind of review have sideloading today on other platforms. The iOS platform is the one where users understand that they can't be tricked or duped into some dark alley or side road where they're going to end up with a sideloaded app, even if they didn't intend to."
Currently, apps must go through Apple's rigorous App Store review process, but if sideloading was allowed, apps would be able to bypass the review process. Neuenschwander also said that sideloading apps would leave the user vulnerable to viruses, malware, and more.
"Today, we have our technical defenses, we have our policy defenses, and then we still have the user's own smarts," Neuenschwander says, referring to Apple's App Store processes. Sideloading would negate those defenses, he contends.

"Even users who intend—they've consciously thought themselves that they are only going to download apps from the App Store—well, the attackers know this, so they're going to try to convince that user that they're downloading an app from the App Store even when that's not happening," Neuenschwander says. "Really, you have to think very creatively, very expansively as an attacker would trying to go after so many users with such rich data on their device. And so users will be attacked regardless of whether or not they intend to navigate app stores other than Apple's."
Unlike the tightly controlled nature of the iPhone and iPad, users are able to download and run apps from places other than the App Store on macOS. Neuenschwander attempted to draw a clear distinction between iOS and macOS, pointing out that the iPhone is a device that users have all the time, carrying personal information such as their location. He noted that the data on iPhone is "more enticing" to a potential attacker compared to information on the Mac.
"It's the device you carry around with you," Neuenschwander notes. "So it knows your location. And therefore somebody who could attack that would get pattern-of-life details about you. It has a microphone, and therefore that's a microphone that could be around you much more than your Mac's microphone is likely to be. So the kind of sensitive data [on the iPhone] is more enticing to an attacker."
Neuenschwander went on to explain the difference in usage between the iPhone and Mac. According to Neuenschwander, users on Mac tend to only download a few applications needed for their job and not explore other applications. On the contrary, iPhone users are downloading apps continuously, making sideloading more dangerous, according to the executive.
But that's not all. "The pattern of use of the Mac—just the style, how people use that platform—tends to be that they get a few applications that they use to do their job or their hobby, and then it kind of reaches a steady state," Neuenschwander explains. "But what we've all seen is that mobile platforms, including iPhone, are ones where users are downloading apps on a continuing basis. And that gives an attacker more opportunities to get in and get at that user. So the threat on the iOS side is much higher than the threat on the Mac side."
Craig Federighi, Apple's software chief overseeing the development of iOS and macOS, said during his testimony for the Epic Games trail that the level of malware on the Mac is at an unacceptable level, possibly warning that similar levels of malware could make its way to the iPhone if sideloading was enabled.

Article Link: Apple Executive Says Users Who Want App Sideloading Already Have That Option With Other Platforms
 
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xflashx

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2016
177
621
I honestly don’t understand the problem. Why not simply allow sideloading apps if enabled in System settings buried under several popups and warnings about possible consequences when enabling that option? Most people would probably leave the sideloading option disabled and the other ones probably know what they are doing and accept possible consequences or privacy violations.
 
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LordVic

Cancelled
Sep 7, 2011
5,938
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I have never used Blackberry, but did that have an App Store?

Blackberry had app delivery to devices long before App store existed.

They allowed side loading as well.

in BB10, it also supported multiple App stores and side loading.

What killed BB10 was only supporting androidr runtime up to 2.3 when 4.0 was already the standard. So there were almost no apps that were really available on the platform.
 
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LordVic

Cancelled
Sep 7, 2011
5,938
12,453
I honestly don’t understand the problem. Why not simply allow sideloading apps if enabled in System settings buried under several popups and warnings about possible consequences when enabling that option? Most people would probably leave the sideloading option disabled and the other ones probably know what they are doing and accept possible consequences or privacy violations.

honestly, the lock down of iOS devices to only the App store does speak more of control and monetary policy than purely technical.
 
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perezr10

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,529
834
Monroe, Louisiana
Such bs macOS has been doing fine for years. This is just fear mongering to protect their billion dollar cash cow.
Uh, no. It’s because of all the trouble with the Macs we’ve had over the years why my family appreciates iOS.

Not even close. I hate macOS and moved to an iPad because of that. Anyone who thinks macOS ”has been doing fine for years” in relation to malware lives in a bubble world and is oblivious to how normal people view it.
 
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CARIB_APPLE

macrumors newbie
Aug 28, 2020
13
9
I hate Droid with a passion but it should still be user choice what they install on there device. whether sideloaded or thru the App Store
Blackberry had app delivery to devices long before App store existed.

They allowed side loading as well.

in BB10, it also supported multiple App stores and side loading.

What killed BB10 was only supporting androidr runtime up to 2.3 when 4.0 was already the standard. So there were almost no apps that were really available on the platform.
That killed Blackberry and I think not adapting to the touch screen quick enough.
 
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marvinscharle

macrumors newbie
Jan 28, 2015
7
3
Luckily, for me (as a European user) the EU will throw out this monopolistic strategy of Apple sooner or later.

There is simply no way that Apple's current position is regarded as an open or free market. With the iPhone, Apple created an ecosystem that has forever been used by 3rd-party app providers. And in this regard, Apple is violating the principles of an open, fair and unbiased market.

This would be like you're an electricity provider, and you require all your customers to only use the wall sockets you sell. This is not a plain field for all other competitors of wall sockets. The same is true for the App Store: As long as Apple is providing apps themselves and competing in this regard with other developers, it should not be allowed to leverage the own market to gain an unfair advantage.
 
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Grey Area

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2008
360
856
He noted that the data on iPhone is "more enticing" to a potential attacker compared to information on the Mac.
That may be true, but by that line of reasoning the much-vaunted integration between iPhone and Mac comes off looking like a liability. If Macs are not sufficiently safe for personal data, then Apple should make it next to impossible to share anything between the systems.
 
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Appleman3546

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2019
326
620
I think he is speaking to wrong crowd. The users do not care about side-loading as much as developers. He can talk about privacy and security all day, but that is not going to change the majority of developer opinions to side load their apps like on a Mac or pc or Android or other browser equipped devices.
 
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