Apple is making major changes to its iOS, Safari, and App Store policies in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new law in the European Union that is designed to promote competition in the tech industry.
Here are some of the key changes:
- Developers will be able to distribute their apps on alternative app marketplaces, in addition to the App Store.
- Developers will be able to process payments for digital goods and services using alternative payment processors, in addition to Apple Pay.
- Users will be able to choose their default web browser.
- Developers will have access to new data and analytics tools.
Apple is also introducing a number of safeguards to protect users from harm. For example, all apps distributed on alternative app marketplaces will need to be notarized by Apple, which means that they will be scanned for malware and other security risks. Additionally, developers will be required to disclose any data that they collect from users.
These changes are a major shift for Apple, and they are likely to have a significant impact on the app ecosystem. However, Apple believes that they are necessary in order to comply with the DMA and to continue to provide a safe and secure platform for users.
Here are some additional details about the changes:
- Developers will be able to offer their iOS apps for download from alternative app marketplaces through a new API.
- Marketplace developers will be able to install apps and manage updates on behalf of other developers from their dedicated marketplace app.
- Developers will be able to use browser engines, other than WebKit, for browser apps and apps with in-app browsing experiences.
- Developers will be able to use NFC technology in their banking and wallet apps throughout the European Economic Area.
- Users will be able to select and manage an app marketplace and/or contactless payment app as their default in Settings.
- Developers will be able to submit requests for interoperability with iPhone and iOS hardware and software features.
- Users will be able to choose a default web browser from a list of options.
- Developers will be able to use alternative payment service providers (PSPs) within their app to process payments for digital goods and services.
- Developers will be able to process payments via link out to purchase, where users can complete a transaction for digital goods and services on the developer's external webpage.
- Developers will be able to include information in their App Store apps to inform EU users of promotions, discounts, and other deals available outside of their app when presenting a link out.
- Developers will be able to access new and enhanced metrics with more than 50 new reports from iOS and the App Store worldwide.
- Developers will be able to request user authorization to retrieve and import new data about their usage of the App Store.
- Developers will have the choice to remain on Apple's existing terms or adopt new terms that reflect the new capabilities.