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Apple makes changes to iOS, Safari, and App Store in response to EU’s Digital Markets Act

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Apple has announced major updates to iOS, Safari and the AppStore, specifically for European Union, as a response to the Digital Markets Act. 

These updates include over 600 new APIs and enhanced app analytics. They also provide support for alternative browsers and offer more options for iOS app distribution and app payment processing. Apple says that these changes aim to maintain high quality and safety standards that EU users have come to expect from Apple while adapting to a new regulatory environment. blog postThis includes details about the changes and new features. 

The introduction of new methods of app payments and downloads for iOS raises concerns over increased risks of malware and fraud. Apple has implemented new measures to mitigate these risks. These include notarization for iOS applications, requiring developers to obtain authorization and disclosing alternative payment methods. Apple acknowledges, however, that certain risks will persist for EU users despite the safeguards.

Apple Developer Support offers detailed information on these changes and provides support for developers. They can also start experimenting with the new capabilities by using the iOS 17.4 Beta version, which is currently available. The roll-out is scheduled to start in March 2024, and users in all 27 EU member states will have access to these new features. 

“The changes we’re announcing today comply with the Digital Markets Act’s requirements in the European Union, while helping to protect EU users from the unavoidable increased privacy and security threats this regulation brings. Our priority remains creating the best, most secure possible experience for our users in the EU and around the world,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow. “Developers can now learn about the new tools and terms available for alternative app distribution and alternative payment processing, new capabilities for alternative browser engines and contactless payments, and more. Importantly, developers can choose to remain on the same business terms in place today if they prefer.”

Apple introduces frameworks and APIs to enable the creation and management of these alternative marketplaces.

Apple has also increased its capabilities in the development of browser apps through the introduction of frameworks and APIs that support alternative browser engines. This move allows developers to choose different browser engines instead of being limited to WebKit for browser apps or in-app browsing. Apple has also created an interoperability form to enhance interoperability. This platform will allow developers to request compatibility with iPhone, iOS hardware and software features. It will promote a more versatile environment and developer-friendly one in the EU.

Apple also announced that it would be sharing DMA compliant changes affecting contactless payment. New APIs will allow developers to integrate NFC technology into their banking apps and wallets across the European Economic Area. And in the EU, Apple is introducing new controls that allow users to select a third-party contactless payment app — or an alternative app marketplace — as their default.

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