Sideloading has been a trending topic lately. While Android had it since its inception, Apple is being forced to allow third-party apps and app stores. However, Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s remark hints that he doesn’t like sideloading apps from third-party stores either.
Sundar Pichai advises against sideloading apps
Google is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Epic Games over its app store practices. During a recent court hearing, Google boss Sundar Pichai expressed his concerns about sideloading apps.
Sundar Pichai has warned against sideloading, citing the potential security risks involved. He stated that sideloading could expose users to malware. “We don’t want to allow you to completely compromise your phone. It can install malware on your phone. It can compromise your safety, very significantly.” These comments appear to clash with Android’s open-source philosophy.
Google’s recent move to scan sideloaded apps for malware raises concerns. The Play Store’s new update scans third-party apps installed on your devices. It increases the company’s control over app distribution on Android.
While Google claims its Play Store offers the best security for users, a recent Kaspersky report found that over 600 million malicious apps were downloaded from the Play Store in 2023 alone. It is worth mentioning that Play Store has quite a history of delisting apps several times every once in a span.
All of this suggests that Google is tightening its grip on the Android app ecosystem. The ongoing legal battle with Epic Games is likely to further shape the future of app distribution on Android.
Google rival Apple to allow sideloading apps on iPhone
The EU’s Digital Markets Act will likely force Apple to allow sideloading apps into the iPhone. Folks at Phone Arena have drawn a parallel between sideloading and the introduction of RCS in iPhone. Apple may allow sideloading apps on iPhone, maybe by 2024. However, it will be limited to EU users.
Apple has never allowed sideloading because it poses a risk to users and the data on their devices. This was also the late Steve Jobs’ vision to keep users safe. However, how Apple or its users will address this issue will likely become clear in the coming days.
Android users, on the other hand, have always had the flexibility to install apps from either the Play Store or third-party sources. Pichai’s statements will likely draw attention and elicit mixed reactions from users and developers.