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A bug briefly makes Apple's own App Store less convenient in EU [u]

App Store icon

In a bug in the iOS 17.4 beta, EU users face an extra security step when buying from Apple's App Store, to give them the same hurdle facing those who buy from the new rival stores.

Fifteen years after the App Store first opened, users in the European Union are going to see an extra step before they can download apps. Just as with any other app, and presumably any forthcoming rival app store, Apple's App Store will now ask permission before it downloads.

First spotted by X/Twitter user iSoftwareUpdates, the new request for permission comes after a user has unlocked their iPhone. It even comes after a user has tapped the Get button in the App Store and confirmed with Face ID that they want to continue.

Regardless of the app chosen, the new security step says "'App Store' would like to install an app." There is then a Learn More option that appears to explain how to "verify the information before installing," though there are no further details yet.

This means that the App Store, in the EU at least, will work the same way as any other app asking permission. Apps ask for permission first when they want to track a user, but then also because they need access to, say, the microphone to work.

Consequently, Apple's App Store is relegated from its previously vaunted position of being automatically trusted. Since it's all but certain to mean that rival App Stores will have to have this step, Apple may be able to argue that it is not giving its own apps preferential treatment.

Currently, Apple is testing all of its new EU features in a developer beta, but it is also battling rivals who want to claim it is disregarding Europe's laws.

Update February 23, 1:36 PM ET In an email to AppleInsider, the company says that the notification is a bug, and will be fixed prior to the March availability of iOS 17.4.