"Alternative app marketplaces will function as an iOS app that is able to install other iOS apps on an iPhone or iPad. Any developer can create an app marketplace, so long as they meet Apple's criteria for customer experience, fraud prevention, customer support, and more," reported MacRumors.
“Developers of alternative app marketplaces will be responsible for meeting ongoing requirements that help protect users and developers. Apple will provide authorized marketplace developers access to new app marketplace frameworks and APIs that let them receive and retrieve notarized apps from Apple Developer Program members securely, let users download and install marketplace apps from their website with authorized browsers, integrate with system functionality, back up and restore users’ apps, and more," the company said.
Apple has been forced to make these changes to comply with the European Union's Digital Markets Act. iOS 17.4 is coming out as a beta update for now, and it will see a public release in March.
"Every app, regardless of where and how it is distributed, will have to meet Notarization requirements. Through this process, apps will receive an installation key, go through a series of automated checks, and go through what Apple describes as a baseline human review [which is how Mac apps work]," writes 9to5Mac.
"Unlike App Store review, notarization will not enforce quality or content standards. There will be a system sheet for a notarized app that displays the app's name, screenshots, and more so that a user can verify an app's information before choosing to install it," explains MacRumors.
"Apple will charge a 0% commission for apps distributed outside the App Store but the developers of the alternative app marketplaces have to pay a new Core Technology Fee of €0.50 per annual install, for the download of the alternative app store itself."