Apple Focuses On The 'Best Interests' Of Users, And That Sideloading Apps Is Harmful

Tim Cook
CEO of Apple

Apple is the tech company towering almost anything else in the business. And this is also why the company is no stranger to scrutiny.

One of the reasons, is because Apple maintains a walled-garden, where everything must abide to its policy, or else. And CEO Tim Cook who sits at the helm, said that everything Apple does, is for the sake of its users.

For example, reforming the App Store is not in the best interests of users, and that would simply ruin the security of the iPhone.

Cook said in an interview with Brut:

"What we do at Apple is always focus intently on the user and what is in their best interests. The current DMA language that is being discussed would force sideloading on the iPhone, and this would be an alternate way of getting apps onto the iPhone."

"That would destroy the security of the iPhone and a lot of the privacy initiatives that we've built into the App Store, where we have privacy nutrition labels, and app-tracking transparency, which gets people to give permission to be tracked across apps."

“These things would not exist anymore except in people that stuck in our ecosystem, and so I worry deeply about privacy and security.”

Tim Cook

What makes many to think that Apple is maintaining a walled-garden, is its policy that doesn't permit users to sideload apps.

Google's Android for example, allows users to install third-party apps by directly opening an APK file. Users can also download apps not from Google Play Store, and from alternative app stores. These, have long been among the things users can experience when using Android, compared to iOS.

Android allows greater control, and allows a lot more customizations.

Apple on the other hand, does not allow those to ever happen. And speaking of sideloading, sideloading is only possible if the iPhone users have is tied to a developer account.

Apple has clung to its status as a gatekeeper, and has resisted any attempts to loosen its grip. Apple’s tight control of its ecosystem, if compared to Google’s comparatively more permissive stance, is not going anywhere.

Cook said that sideloading apps on iPhones would "damage privacy and security."

"Look at malware as an example. Android has 47 times more malware than iOS does. Why is that? It's because we've designed iOS in such a way that there's one app store, and all the apps are reviewed before going on the store. That keeps a lot of this malware stuff out of our ecosystem, and customers have told us very continuously how much they value that."

There is no doubt that having the ability to sideload apps does come with security risks.

By downloading apps not from the official app store, users can be exposed to malware, which can make them vulnerable to even more privacy and security issues.

But Apple in becoming a strict gatekeeper that controls everything, is killing the competition.

People want choices, developers want flexibility, and regulators want a fair market.

And Apple is only giving them a little.

Apple is not a perfect company. It has flaws here and there, just like Google, and just like every other company out there.

It's just that Apple's monopolistic behavior is concerning so many people. With the ability to simply box out rivals and kick whoever it wishes, Apple's walled-garden is an ecosystem too strict for those who expect more from Apple.

But again, Apple is doing this for the sake of its users. And with that message, Apple remains reasonable, if not slippery as a fish in water.