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First third party App Store in the EU is live

Image Credit: AltStore

Following changes in iOS 17.4 and legislation allowing them, the first new alternative app store has launched in the EU, that promises to help distribute "indie" apps at a low-cost yearly fee.

On Wednesday, AltStore PAL announced that it is officially launching as an alternative to Apple's App Store in the European Union. It bills itself as an "open-source, crowd-funded app store for indies."

According to the developers, distributing apps via AltStore PAL is entirely free and developers are given the option to distribute to patrons via built-in Patreon integration. It also notes that there is no manual review process.

At launch, AltStore PAL will have two apps: Delta and Clip. Delta is AltStore's all-in-one Nintendo emulator, which emulates NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 64 games, among others.

Clip is a clipboard manager for iOS that can run in the background indefinitely, listening for changes to the clipboard and saving clipped content for later use.

While the creator says any app is welcome on the platform, he believes that "AltStore makes the most sense for smaller, indie apps that otherwise couldn't exist due to App Store rules."

"There are countless examples of these that aren't allowed in the App Store for one reason or another; we just don't know about them because there's never been a distribution option for these poor apps."

Users interested in trying out AltStore PAL will need to pay 1.50 euros and additional VAT fees per year. It can be downloaded from the website.

Apple now allows alternative app stores in the European Union, a change it made in order to comply with the newly enacted Digital Market Act. Currently, alternative app markets will not work outside of the EU.