Setapp launches app marketplace to rival App Store on iPhone

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In January, Apple launched a historic overhaul of its iOS, Safari, and App Store offerings in Europe. The move was aimed at appeasing regulators in the European Union. The biggest part of this is allowing customers to download software from outside the App Store. Also known as sideloading. This became available for the first time as part of iOS 17.4.

As part of this, the popular Mac app subscription service Setapp has announced plans to launch its own app marketplace on iOS in the EU. Starting next month, the new Setapp Mobile Store will provide iPhone users with an alternative to the App Store. Users will be able to download new apps in compliance with the Digital Markets Act.

The Setapp Mobile Store coming this April for iPhones in the EU

Setapp is bringing its curated selection of top-rated productivity, creativity and utility apps from the Mac version of its service to iOS. Users will be able to browse categories such as business tools, design software, lifestyle apps, and specialized professional tools. Some notable apps currently available to Setapp subscribers on the Mac include note-taking app Ulysses, system monitoring tool iStat Menus, email client Spark, and workflow manager Unite.

The beta version of Setapp Mobile is scheduled to launch in April. According to the company, interested developers can apply to have their apps listed on Setapp’s website. Subscribers will gain access by joining a waiting list. Setapp says it is carefully vetting apps to ensure quality and provide the best possible user experience.

Setapp will be one of the first third-party stores to take advantage of new rules from the EU’s Digital Markets Act. It requires Apple to allow alternative payment systems and app distribution on iOS in Europe.

While Setapp subscribers on Mac can currently use a QR code workaround to access companion iOS apps, the dedicated app marketplace will streamline the mobile experience. It marks an important milestone as Setapp looks to expand its subscription service across more platforms.