It is the norm for any Android user to install apps not from Google Play. Even if you don’t use alternative directories, the very fact that this option is available is very reassuring to many. So it doesn’t matter if Google lets the application you need into Google Play or not, and if it is available in your region or not, you will be able to download it anyway. However, iOS users do not have this opportunity and never have, except for the period when jailbreak and Cydia were popular. But Apple continues to lie to its customers and claim that the App Store has plenty of competition.
Apple considers Google Play, Galaxy Apps from Samsung, Epic Store from Epic Games, Steam, AppStream, Chrome Web Store, Setapp and Microsoft Store to be direct competitors to the App Store. This statement was made by Apple representatives at the court hearing on the monopolization of the iOS applications market in Australia.
What are the App Store counterparts
Apple considered Google Play a competitor to the App Store because Android is a direct competitor to iOS. The logic is, to put it bluntly, ironclad.
The company’s official position is that these are all the same software stores as the App Store, fighting for market share, seeking to extend their influence to the iOS audience as well. It sounds nice, but it’s kind of implausible and too far-fetched.
After all, if you think about it, not even Google Play can be considered as a competitor to the App Store. No, I understand what Apple’s lawyers are saying. They refer to the fact that Google has its own operating system, which is trying to counter iOS, just as Google Play is trying to counter the App Store. But here Apple’s defenders are clearly confusing the concepts.
After all, you can only compete if you play on the same field and have an equal opportunity to attract an audience. But neither Google Play, nor Galaxy Apps, nor Chrome Web Store are available on iOS, and therefore are unable to attract iPhone users. It’s like calling warships and container ships competitors, referring to the fact that they both walk on water.
It would seem that, well, they cited Google Play as a competitor, and they did. You could have ridden on this strategy for a while longer, considering that the actual battle for share between iOS and Android is indeed there. However, Cupertino decided that wasn’t enough. Therefore, the company’s lawyers said that iOS users are free to download applications not only from the App Store, but also from the Internet.
What to replace the App Store on iOS
Apple explained that we’re talking about progressive web apps, which are actually websites, with the only exception being that they’re optimized to look like apps on mobile devices. They have a software-specific interface and are not disfigured by the elements typical of websites. The other thing is that PWAs, as they are called, have a lot of limitations. You can read more about them at this link, but in a nutshell:
– First, Apple itself restricts some of them through Safari, forcing users to switch to alternative browsers;
– Second, a normal app or game cannot be ported to the web and made to run as fast and smoothly as a normal app;
– Third, PWAs are not as well optimized and therefore consume more resources than traditional applications, placing a heavier burden on the system;
– Fourthly, PWAs are extremely rare and unheard of for the vast majority of iOS and Android users.
What’s my point? Well, my point is that Apple blatantly tries to deceive users by giving them something they don’t want. Google, on the other hand. The search giant doesn’t stop users from downloading software from alternative sources, and it offers them security mechanisms that would keep them safe in case of trouble. They say it’s not safe. But if we look at iOS, the security is no better, and the freedom of use is much worse.