Apple updates iOS and iPadOS to comply with EU Digital Markets Act

Apple updated iOS and iPadOS to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act, allowing alternative app stores, payments, and browsers in the EU.

iOS 18 updated to comply with EU Digital Markets Act
iOS 18 updated to comply with EU Digital Markets Act

Apple this week announced changes to its iOS and iPadOS operating systems, impacting app distribution, payments, and in-app browsing experiences, in compliance with the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA). These changes will be available to users in the 27 EU member countries.

For developers distributing apps in the EU, Apple now offers options for:

Alternative App Marketplaces: Developers can distribute apps through marketplaces other than the App Store, with Apple providing APIs and controls to facilitate downloads and protect intellectual property.

Web Distribution: Developers can offer iOS apps directly from their websites for download, meeting specific Notarization requirements.

Alternative Browser Engines: Authorized developers can use browser engines other than WebKit for browser apps and in-app browsing experiences.

Contactless Payments: Developers can integrate contactless payment options using NFC technology in their banking and wallet apps.

Expanded Default App Controls: Users can choose and manage default apps for marketplaces, contactless payments, and web browsers.

Interoperability Requests: Developers can submit requests for interoperability with iPhone and iPadOS hardware and software features.

Alternative Payment Service Providers (PSPs): Developers can offer alternative payment options within their apps alongside Apple's In-App Purchase system.

Link-out to Purchase: Developers can include information directing users to external webpages for completing transactions for digital goods and services.

Enhanced Developer App Analytics and User Data Portability: Developers receive additional metrics and the ability to request user data portability.

Maintaining User Safety and Security

Apple emphasizes its commitment to user safety and security with these changes. They have introduced safeguards like Notarization for apps, authorization for marketplace developers, and disclosures on alternative payments to mitigate risks.

Impact on Developers

These changes are optional for developers. They can choose to remain on Apple's existing App Store terms or adopt the new terms that allow for these additional functionalities in the EU.

Availability

The changes are available for developers who distribute apps in any of the 27 EU member countries. They will be available to users in these countries with the release of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 18 later this fall.

EU Digital Markets Act

The DMA aims to foster competition in digital markets by regulating large gatekeeper platforms like Apple. The Act requires Apple to allow alternative app distribution methods, payment processing options, and browser engines within the EU.

Apple expresses concerns that these changes may introduce new risks for users, including exposure to malware, fraud, scams, and privacy threats.

The changes announced by Apple represent a significant shift in the way apps are distributed and monetized on iOS devices in the EU. While these changes offer more flexibility for developers, they also raise questions about the potential impact on user safety and security. It remains to be seen how these changes will play out in practice and how they will be received by both developers and users.


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