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EU developers can begin testing app marketplaces and apps that won't be distributed in the App Store

The EU DMA forces Apple to allow alternative app stores

Apple's controversial plans for complying with the EU's Digital Markets Act are being implemented, and now developers can submit alternative app stores and external apps via App Store Connect.

Apple's compliance with the EU DMA must go into effect by March 2024, so the company is already making moves to let developers begin testing their apps and marketplaces. Documentation found on Apple's developer website says developers can use App Store Connect and its API to set everything up.

Developers who have agreed to Apple's new rules in the EU can build app marketplaces that compete with the App Store. These stores will offer apps that want to exist outside of Apple's App Store or otherwise couldn't exist based on Apple's rules.

App Store Connect and its API have been updated to allow developers to set up marketplace distribution and marketplace apps. These apps and marketplaces can be tested using Apple's TestFlight app.

Apps submitted for testing can use the new alternative browser engines, alternative payment service providers, and external linking.

Apple is also offering online consultations and labs to developers that need help getting started or understanding the changes. There are over 600 new APIs available for developers despite Apple's obvious distaste for the DMA.