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Independent App Store AltStore PAL Launches for iPhones Amid Regulatory Changes

In a significant shift for iOS users, the AltStore PAL, operated by independent publisher Riley Testut, has finally made its way onto iPhones, offering an alternative platform for downloading apps similar to Apple's App Store.
This development comes as Apple opens up its iOS system with the 17.4 update in compliance with the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), marking a historic change that allows for the presence of alternative application stores. Prior to this, apps could only be sourced exclusively from Apple's App Store.

The AltStore PAL, created by developer Riley Testut, emerges as the first third-party app store available for EU users. This open-source platform enables independent developers to distribute their applications for free, without the need for paid promotions or libraries. Instead, developers are responsible for their app's promotion.

While app distribution in the store is free, Apple's fees are not entirely avoidable. If an app surpasses one million downloads within its first year, its developer must pay a fee of 0.5 euros per download thereafter. Similarly, the marketplace must pay Apple a fee of 0.5 euros per app installation. To counterbalance these costs, AltStore charges an annual usage fee of 1.5 euros plus VAT, which amounted to approximately 1.91 euros or 756 forints at the time of purchase in our case.

However, we encountered a snag when the download button failed to work despite attempts at troubleshooting such as clearing cookies, using incognito mode, and restarting the iPhone. This issue does not necessarily indicate a scam, and it may be a temporary setback. Updates will be provided as the situation resolves.

Additionally, the AltStore includes Patreon integration, allowing app developers to seek financial support from users. This new marketplace is particularly valuable for developers whose apps may not comply with the strict regulations of the App Store. The AltStore PAL can be downloaded from the developer's website after paying the annual fee.

This move towards opening iOS to third-party app stores symbolizes a notable shift in how apps are distributed and could lead to more variety and innovation in the app market while addressing regulatory requirements.

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