Ahead of European legislation that will require the company to support side loading, Apple is planning to allow for alternate app stores on the iPad and iPhone.

The change would allow customers to download apps without needing to use the App Store, which would mean developers would not have to pay Apple's 15 to 30 percent fees.

Alternative app stores could expand beyond the EU if other countries introduce similar legislation. Legislation is being considered in the US that would require Apple to allow side loading. Apple claims that side loading will undermine the privacy and security protections that iPhone users rely on.

Gatekeeper companies are required to open up their services to other companies under the European Union's Digital Markets Act. Major changes to the App Store, Messages, and more are possible because of the DMA. The EU's rules require Apple to be in compliance by March 6, 2020.

Apple's software engineering and services employees are working to open up key elements of Apple's platforms, with Apple using a lot of resources for the change. The function will be ready for the next version of the operating system in 2023, which is ahead of the deadline. Some employees are worried that the drastic updates could affect work on new features.

Apple is considering implementing security requirements such as verification, a process that it could charge a fee for in lieu of collecting money from app sales, in order to protect users from the risks of side loading. The verification system on Mac allows users to be safe while giving them access to apps that are not in the Mac App Store.

Third-party app developers can get deeper access to core system functions and hardware if Apple opens up underlying app frameworks. In the future, third-party apps could get access to camera technologies that are not currently available, and Apple is working to open up Near Field Communication in a way that could allow for Apple Pay alternatives. Further opening up the Find My network to accessory makers is one of the ideas being considered by Apple. There is a requirement that prevents third-party device makers from working with non- Find My apps and services.

The Digital Markets Act requires Apple to allow developers to install third-party payment systems within their apps, but Apple has not yet made a final decision on whether it will comply with the rule. The Messages app may be made available to third-party services, but Apple isn't sure how it will work.

The Digital Markets Act allows the European Union to fine a company as much as 20 percent of its global revenue if it violates the law. Apple could be fined as much as $80 billion if it doesn't implement the changes.

In addition to causing major changes to the App Store and other Apple services, European legislation is also pushing Apple to adoptUSB-C across all of its devices, a change that will be made in 2023