iOS third-party app store AltStore PAL launched

We previously reported that due to the Digital Markets Act, Apple has lifted certain restrictions in the EU market, such as allowing users to choose third-party app stores. Recently, AltStore officially launched AltStore PAL for Apple users in the EU, an open-source third-party app store.

Currently, AltStore PAL features only two applications: the multi-console Nintendo emulator Delta and the clipboard manager Clip, both developed by AltStore founder Riley Testut. Delta is available free of charge and contains no advertisements, whereas Clip requires a minimum donation of one euro. Testut has stated that once the smooth operation of AltStore PAL is confirmed, the platform will open its doors to a broader array of third-party applications.

Testut also noted that, unlike the App Store, all applications on AltStore are self-hosted. Once an application is notarized by Apple, developers can download a processed alternative distribution package and upload it to their servers. They simply need to submit a source—a JSON file containing the app’s metadata—to AltStore. Users must add this source to their list to download third-party applications. Consequently, AltStore operates on a decentralized basis, as it does not store the applications themselves.

Regarding paid applications, AltStore will integrate closely with Patreon. Developers can generate revenue through users’ Patreon subscriptions. To further encourage the use of Patreon, AltStore will not take a commission from Patreon donations, allowing developers to retain all their Patreon earnings.

For users in the EU, as long as their devices are running iOS 17.4 or a newer system, they can directly install AltStore PAL from its official website. Considering Apple’s core technology usage fees, the subscription cost for AltStore PAL is 1.5 euros per year. For users worldwide, the original AltStore remains free, although the installation and activation process is somewhat complex.