The return of Fortnite Mobile to iOS devices seems increasingly likely as new information and leaks surface. However, the catch lies in the side loading of apps, a feature currently limited to the European Union. Let’s explore the situation, the steps to sideload apps on Android devices, and the implications for iOS users in and outside the EU.
The Clues Pointing to Fortnite Mobile’s Return
At the beginning of 2023, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, tweeted cryptic messages hinting at Fortnite Mobile’s possible return to iOS. These tweets came after the European Union decided in 2022 that all iPhones and iPads in the EU would be required to allow side loading of apps.
Side Loading: What is it and How Does it Work?
Side loading refers to downloading and installing apps from sources other than official app stores. Android users have always had the ability to sideload apps, while iOS users have not. The EU’s decision to mandate side loading for iOS devices could pave the way for Fortnite Mobile to return to the platform.
To sideload Fortnite Mobile on an Android device, follow these steps:
- Open your web browser (e.g., Google Chrome) and search for “download Fortnite mobile.”
- Click the first result, which should be either Epic Games or Fortnite’s website.
- Download the Epic Games Store launcher or the APK file.
- Open the APK and follow the installation steps.
- Once installed, log into your account and download Fortnite.
iOS 17 and Side Loading: What We Know So Far
The EU’s decision will likely result in side loading being included in iOS 17 for devices within the European Union. However, little information is available on how this will work or whether it will be restricted in any way.
It’s important to note that this feature will not be available for users outside the EU. Apple is expected to do the bare minimum to comply with the EU’s requirements, meaning they may not widely advertise or promote this feature. Additionally, they may require apps to be verified before being side loaded, which could complicate the process.
The Implications for Fortnite Mobile and Other Apps
The possibility of sideloading apps in the EU could bring Fortnite Mobile back to iOS devices in these countries. However, this development remains speculative, and many details are still uncertain.
For users outside the EU, the situation is less clear. Some speculate that it may be possible to use a VPN to gain access to the sideloading feature, though this has not been confirmed.
As the release of iOS 17 approaches, more information about side loading and its implications for Fortnite Mobile and other apps should become available. The WWDC conference, where Apple typically announces new features and products, is scheduled for the coming months, and the iOS 17 beta is set to be released to testers in June.
Why Fortnite Mobile is Unavailable on iOS
Fortnite Mobile has become inaccessible on iOS devices due to a disagreement between Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite, and Apple. The conflict arose when Epic Games introduced an alternative payment method for V-Bucks within the game, which went against Apple’s policy that prohibits third-party payment systems for in-app purchases or external store links within gaming apps. As a result, Apple decided to remove Fortnite from the App Store.
Although Fortnite is no longer available for download on the App Store, those who had previously downloaded the game on their iOS devices before its removal in August 2020 can still play it. However, Epic Games has stated that Fortnite’s v13.40 version on iOS will become unavailable to players under 18 years of age, as it does not utilize the most recent version of Epic Online Services. This updated version includes vital features such as parental controls, default purchasing settings, and parental verification functionalities.
A Word of Caution
Despite the optimism surrounding the potential return of Fortnite Mobile to iOS devices, it is essential to remain cautious. The past few years have been filled with hope and disappointment for the Fortnite Mobile community, and there may still be obstacles to overcome before the game returns to iOS.
As more information becomes available, we will continue to provide updates on the situation. In the meantime, Fortnite Mobile enthusiasts should stay informed and prepared for any developments.