A new era has dawned for iPhone users in the EU. To comply with the region's Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple has had to open its doors to third-party app stores. And the first third-party app store – AltStore PAL – is already here.

You might already be familiar with AltStore since it isn't something entirely new. You could already install AltStore on your iPhone with workarounds that wasn't jailbreaking, but honestly, it was still too much of a hassle. But now, users can officially install the AltStore PAL as an Apple approved alternative, at least in the EU countries. For users outside the EU, the original AltStore is still a viable option.

Released by Riley Testut and his business partner, Shane Gill, this means big things for iPhone users in the EU who can now explore options previously unavailable to them.

Don't be mistaken. Apple still doesn't make it an entirely smooth ride to install the AltStore PAL. You're bombarded with many warnings scaring you about installing a third-party store. But after you've braved all the clicks, you'll eventually be able to install it.

How to Install AltStore PAL? Everyone in the EU countries, running iOS 17.4 or higher, can install AltStore PAL from the AltStore website.

AltStore PAL requires an annual subscription of €1.50 (plus tax) which covers the cost of Core Technology Fee (CTF) from Apple required for installing the marketplace.

Currently, at its launch, the marketplace features two apps – Delta, an all-in-one Nintendo emulator, and Clip, a clipboard manager that can run in the background. Both apps have been developed by Testut himself. The developer plans to open the marketplace to third-party apps once the AltStore PAL is tested to run smoothly.

Delta will be free to use, without any ads. It can play NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games. (Delta is also available in the App Store now in many countries outside of the EU – for free.) But Clip will require a Patreon donation of €1 or more (plus taxes) per month.

Delta's listing in the AltStore PAL. Source: Riley Testut

That's another thing about AltStore PAL. The developers have chosen to use Patreon donations for monetization. This would give the Indie developers a chance to monetize their apps the way they want, and also allow them to cover the CTF costs.

All third-party apps in AltStore PAL would be self-hosted by developers on their servers, once they have been notarized by Apple.

Third-party app marketplaces, like AltStore PAL, open up the world of iPhone to the kind of apps that were not previously allowed by Apple. However, it also puts more responsibility on user's shoulders as they'll need to trust the app they are using.

Consider Clip itself, the second app in the AltStore PAL. To run indefinitely in the background as a clipboard, the app employs workarounds that are against the App Store rules. The app can see everything you copy-paste on your iPhone, and you cannot allow just any app that kind of access on your phone.