Apple Unveils Major Updates for iOS, Safari, App Store in EU

Apple Unveils Major Updates for iOS, Safari, App Store in EU

Apple has unveiled significant alterations to iOS, Safari, and the App Store tailored for users and developers within the European Union (EU) to adhere to the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

These modifications encompass over 600 new APIs, expanded app analytics, alternative browser engine functionalities, and avenues for processing app payments and distributing iOS apps. With a focus on enhancing user security and privacy, Apple aims to mitigate the risks associated with the DMA while delivering an optimal user experience across its platforms.

For developers, these changes usher in new opportunities for app distribution and payment processing. They now have the option to explore alternative avenues for app distribution, leverage new frameworks for creating alternative app marketplaces, and utilize alternative browser engines for enhanced flexibility. Additionally, developers can submit interoperability requests to further enhance the functionality of their apps within the iOS ecosystem.

However, with these new options come inherent risks such as malware, fraud, scams, and exposure to illicit content. To address these concerns, Apple has implemented safeguards including Notarization for iOS apps, marketplace developer authorizations, and disclosures on alternative payments. These measures aim to minimize risks while ensuring a secure environment for users across the EU.

The changes introduced by Apple align with the European Commission’s classification of iOS, Safari, and the App Store as “core platform services” under the DMA. In anticipation of these changes taking effect in March 2024, Apple plans to provide comprehensive resources to help EU users navigate the evolving landscape and understand the implications of the DMA on their digital experiences.

In parallel, Apple is also introducing enhancements to Safari, allowing users to select a default browser from a list of options in compliance with DMA requirements. Similarly, changes to the App Store include new options for payment processing, enhanced disclosures, and improved App Review processes to safeguard EU users’ interests.

Central to these changes are the new business terms for developers’ apps in the EU. Developers now have the option to adopt revised terms tailored to the DMA’s requirements, which include reduced commissions, payment processing fees, and core technology fees. These terms underscore Apple’s commitment to fostering a fair and innovative app ecosystem while complying with regulatory standards.