iPhone's biggest change ever?

Something very different is barreling down the pike: sideloading.

A big, big change to the iPhone is afoot — perhaps the biggest change ever.

It’s likely that Apple will release a special version of iOS in March with sideloading enabled.

Sideloading, of course, is the ability to install software through other channels — not just Apple’s official App Store.

Alternative app stores doubtless will abound, and users will be able to install apps directly from publishers’ websites (or maybe even BitTorrent).

If so, it’ll be a big shakeup to the iOS app ecosystem, which Apple keeps under tight reins. App-makers will no longer have to deal with Apple’s gatekeeping, with good and bad consequences.

It’ll undoubtedly make the iPhone less secure, but it’ll also give users and app developers a lot more freedom.

And all this could happen within a couple of months. What a time to be alive!

However, there’s one big catch — for iPhone users in the United States.

Also in today’s newsletter:

— Leander Kahney, EIC.

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A message from the Cult of Mac Store

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One more thing ...

The biggest thing is that it holds a thousand songs. This is a quantum leap because, for most people, it holds their entire music library…. You can take your entire music library with you, right in your pocket.

— Steve Jobs introducing the iPod in 2001.

Today’s poll

How do you feel about sideloading iPhone apps?

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Results from yesterday’s poll: Did you have an iPod Shuffle?

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