Thursday, July 25, 2024

Setapp announces beta of iOS app store for the EU

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MacPaw has announced a beta test for its Setapp Mobile, a third-party alternative to Apple’s App Store, planned for users in the EU.

Setapp has previously been reported as planning to launch an EU-only alternative app store, but its plans have now reached the beta test phase. The company is inviting users to sign up to a waitlist for the beta, due to launch in April.

“We are setting a new path for the software industry towards a better and more diverse app ecosystem,” Oleksandr Kosovan, CEO and Founder of MacPaw, said in a statement. “This will offer customers more choices and a better overall user experience.”

“With Setapp our promise is simple: to offer software and tools that streamline your workflow, ignite your creativity, and amplify your impact,” continued Kosovan. “We carefully curate our collection, ensuring that every app, every feature, and every update aligns with our philosophy of meaningful efficiency.”

Setapp is a single-subscription, currently starting at $9.99, which gives users access to the full versions of around 250 predominantly Mac apps. Up to now, it has introduced a curated selection of iOS apps, but they have had to be companion ones to the Mac apps, and downloaded from Apple’s App Store.

MacPaw says that for the beta test of its EU-exclusive app store, there will be a “carefully selected assortment of apps, including fan favorites from the Setapp catalog.” The announcement doesn’t name any individual apps, but does list categories ranging across productivity, creativity, and what it calls specialized professional tools.

As well as the waitlist for users in the EU, MacPaw is inviting iOS developers to join Setapp.

MacPaw is able to create its own, separate iOS App Store in the EU specifically because of the new Digital Markets Act law that is coming in to force across Europe. Apple has had to facilitate rival app stores in the region, and recently published details of how developers can create and use alternative stores.

Apple’s plans to comply with the EU’s laws have been criticized by rivals. But it will launch the facility with the release of iOS 17.4 by March 7, 2024.

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