All application stores that are alternative to the App Store and appeared on the iPhone thanks to iOS 17.4.

If you’ve recently updated to iOS 17.4, you’re probably wondering where are alternative stores to sideload apps on iPhone. No, you are not mistaken, and there is no error in the version. There are no alternative App Stores. For now.

This version opens up the ability for us in Europe to download apps from stores other than the App Store (although those stores must be downloaded from Apple). However, only a month has passed since the announcement, and the developers already have the tools, so there has not yet been time to integrate them. However we already have some verified stores coming to iOS soon.

Sideloading iPhone is only available for the European Union

An important aspect to note if you’re reading from outside the EU is that you won’t have sideloading on your iPhone. This term, translated as “side loading”, refers to the ability to install applications that do not come directly from the App Store. This is something Apple never wanted, although now they have been forced to allow it.

The reason for this obligation is the DMA, the English acronym for the Digital Markets Act promoted by the European Commission and which companies like Apple must comply with from March 6, 2024. Among other things, this regulation requires that downloads to iOS only be open to the native Apple store (App Store).

App stores will stop working if you leave the EU

Thus, iOS 17.4 on the old continent is different from the rest of the world. Here we can find that the App Store has various app stores that, although controlled by Apple, have their own apps that are not usually found in the Apple store. However, in the rest of the world nothing changes.

It is necessary to take into account what Apple itself confirms: you can live in the EU and have access to shops and lose it if you travel. This a priori will not affect applications that you have installed and downloaded from these alternative stores, but will not allow you to update them or download new ones.

Therefore, these features are reserved for the following countries:

  • Germany.
  • Austria.
  • Bulgaria.
  • Belgium.
  • Cyprus.
  • Croatia.
  • Denmark.
  • Slovakia.
  • Slovenia.
  • Spain.
  • Estonia.
  • Finland.
  • France.
  • Greece.
  • Hungary.

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  • Ireland.
  • Italy.
  • Latvia.
  • Lithuania.
  • Luxembourg.
  • Malt.
  • Netherlands.
  • Poland.
  • Portugal.
  • Czech Republic.
  • Romania.
  • Sweden.

App stores coming to iPhone

As we said, the lack of alternative stores is normal since none of them have been released yet. It’s unclear exactly how many developers will join, given that the economic conditions Apple demands keep many out. However, There are already confirmations from alternative stores These will become available soon and we will update this information as soon as data becomes available.

Traffic App Marketplace

Moby Vention
Moby Vention

Mobivention was one of the first companies to confirm its app store for iOS. This may seem unfamiliar to you because it is a development team focused on creating professional applications. Thus, in it we can find tools aimed at B2B (from companies to companies) and B2C (from companies to consumers) businesses.

The idea is that this could be the first store to appear, given that They announce that this will happen on March 7th.. However, it is not very clear whether they will arrive in time to launch it, and so for now we must classify it as one of the stores that will appear soon.

Install app

Install app
Install app

Setapp is a service that has been available on Mac for many years. This is an app store created by MacPaw and works on a subscription basis that costs around 10 euros per month, although you can find dozens of paid apps that are already included in this subscription. and you don’t have to pay separately. It’s kind of like Netflix apps in that instead of paying for everything individually, you pay for one service to have them all available.

While it is true that Setapp already offered iOS apps through this Mac app, they have now confirmed that the store is 100% dedicated to iOS. Be in April, when the first beta version of the store will be launched with the idea of ​​getting feedback and offering the store to all users by mid-year.

They haven’t commented on the apps available, although it’s clear there will be tools developed by MacPaw, such as ClearVPN or CleanMyPhone. Likewise, it remains to be seen whether other popular apps such as Spark, which is already on the App Store for free but not in a paid version and which Setapp offers on Mac, remain to be seen.

What about alternative stores that were already on iOS?

Yes, although officially the App Store was the only installation method, the truth is that there are cases where app stores have managed to “sneak” their way into their stores through other means before. We did this through developer certificates, which Apple offers, although not for these purposes. So while it’s true that they weren’t illegal, they were at least questionable and illegal according to Apple’s rules.

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Well, now that they can get this permission to access the App Store in a completely legal way, there are doubts as to whether they will appear. Of the two most famous, only one spoke out.

Alternative store

Alternative store
Alternative store

This is one of the most famous app stores that are not on the App Store, mainly because they go against the rules that Apple imposes on apps. Many eyes are drawn to this store, but They have not yet confirmed their intentions to move their store to the App Store.. Is it possible that they will get it? Not at all, but there is no data to suggest they have plans to do so in the short term.

Application Database


This is an app store that has been present on iOS for several years, albeit in a somewhat illegal manner according to the usage rules set by Apple, since in order to use it you need to have developer certificates and follow somewhat difficult to use rules. While no concrete plans have been announced for it to appear on the App Store as an alternative store, they have already given clues.

It was on Reddit that they shared their intentions to reach the App Store based on DMA or more precisely to what is said in article 6(7) of the legislation. That is, allowing what they’ve already had available for over a decade to be compatible. It remains to be seen what his next steps will be and whether Apple will allow his participation.

What happened to the Epic Games Store?


“Fortnite” had to disappear from the App Store four years ago due to disagreements between its creators, Epic Games and Apple. This happened precisely because of the terms of the App Store, according to which a commission of 30% is charged for in-app purchases. Well, now it seemed like a custom store would be the way to get me back on iOS.

Actually, Epic has already confirmed learning about the changes Apple proposed would bring to the store. However, after the release of iOS 17.4 they have confirmed that they will not be able to transfer the Epic Games Store to iPhone. The controversy has ended and they have come forward with accusations against Apple, as they say the reason their developer account was closed again and their store was prevented from appearing was due to the public criticism that Epic leveled against Apple for its way of using DMA.

However it seems that this thing will cause a tail and in the coming months we will witness new chapters of conflicting statements and, who knows, perhaps new lawsuits. We’ll see in the future, but for now there won’t be an Epic store on iOS at the end of the year as planned.

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