Parents can block EU iPhone-owning kids from installing third-party app stores

Apple's iOS 17.4 software update adds support for third-party app stores in the EU and parents can still control what can be installed if required.

1 minute & 9 seconds read time

Apple's new iOS 17.4 software update brings with it a number of new features, but if you're in the European Union there's one that undoubtedly stands out more than the rest - support for third-party app stores. We're still learning more about how they work but it's now been confirmed that parents who are worried that their kids could install third-party app stores without their knowledge can prevent that from happening.

Apple has long offered parental controls that allow parents to be required to approve the downloading of apps from the App Store, but with the addition of third-party app marketplaces, there were concerns that kids might be able to bypass the need to get approval. However, 9to5Mac notes that Apple has added a feature that will give parents more control.

Parents can block EU iPhone-owning kids from installing third-party app stores 02

9to5Mac reports that parents will be able to choose to prevent the installation of third-party apps and app stores using the Screen Time protections that they're familiar with. Parents can also set an age rating rather than blocking all third-party app stores if they prefer, with Apple still requiring that apps installed via third-party marketplaces have age ratings attached to them.

The ability to keep unwanted content off of the iPhones and iPads of kids was one of the arguments some made against the addition of sideloading in the EU as part of the new Digital Markets Act, but this appears to have the answer to that issue. Apple's requirement that apps still be reviewed and notarized should also ensure that bad actors cannot create apps for installation on iPhones as should the requirement for app stores to be used rather than the free-for-all that Android sideloading can allow.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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