Apple Has Historically Resisted This Possible iOS 17 iPhone Feature

iOS 17 is rumored to include the ability to sideload apps onto your iPhone.

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Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
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We'll likely get a look at iOS 17 at WWDC this summer.

James Martin/CNET

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5 will be packed full of announcements. In addition to the possible reveal of Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset, the company is expected to show off iOS 17, the next iteration of its mobile software for the iPhone. With iOS 17, Apple device users could finally gain the ability to sideload apps, according to a Bloomberg report on Sunday. 

For the iPhone, sideloading apps means that you can download an app without using Apple's App Store. The potential inclusion of sideloading is meant to ensure compliance with new European regulations due to kick in next year, according to Bloomberg. 

The new laws aim to create an equal playing field for third-party developers, but this would be a huge shift for Apple. Historically, the tech giant has been adamantly opposed to sideloading apps. Apple argues that sideloading could compromise iPhone security. 

WWDC should also unveil iPadOS 17, MacOS 17 and an update to WatchOS 10. It's not clear at this time, but the possibility of sideloading could extend to these operating systems as well. 

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.