TECH

Apple Blames New Law for Progressive Web Apps Not Working Properly in the EU

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After a period of uncertainty, Apple has made it clear that it has crippled progressive web apps in iOS 17.4 in the EU. security and privacy name.

When the first beta of iOS 17.4 was released, users in the European Union immediately noticed that Progressive Web Apps, which Apple calls “Home Screen Web Apps,” weren't working properly. Further versions of the beta only made the situation worse, and no changes were made in the most recent beta.

Apple hasn't said anything about this problem — till Thursday. In an update to the Q&A section about the EU changes on the company's developer website, Apple explained what's happening.

And it doesn’t look like things will go back to what they were in the EU before.

The entire Apple Q&A section is repeated below to avoid confusion on this issue.

To comply with the Digital Markets Act, Apple has done extensive engineering work to add new features and functionality for developers and users in the European Union — including over 600 new APIs and a wide range of developer tools.

iOS has traditionally provided support for Home screen web apps by relying directly on WebKit and its security architecture. This integration means that Home screen web apps are managed according to the security and privacy model of native iOS apps, including storage isolation and enforcement of system requests to access privacy-sensitive features on a site-by-site basis.

Without this type of isolation and enforcement, malicious web applications can read data from other web applications and re-gain their permissions to gain access to the user's camera, microphone, or location without the user's consent. Browsers can also install web applications on a system without the user's knowledge or consent. Addressing the complex security and privacy issues associated with web applications using alternative browser engines would require the creation of an entirely new integration architecture that does not currently exist in iOS and which was impractical to implement given the different DMA requirements and very low user adoption. Home screen web apps. Therefore, to comply with DMA requirements, we had to remove the web apps feature on the EU home screen.

EU users will be able to continue to access websites directly from their home screen via bookmark at minimal cost. impact on their functionality. We expect this change to affect a small number of users. However, we regret that this change had any impact — this was done as part of the DMA compliance efforts — May be relevant to Home Screen web app developers and our users.

Apple's support for Progressive Web Apps is underwhelming. Regardless, we don't expect critics of the end of limited support to be particularly happy about clear notice of the situation.

The removal is odd given Apple's previous stance on the issue. He used the existence of this feature as an antitrust defense internationally. However, it does say that the “open internet” is a competitor to the App Store model.

These changes complement other controversial changes Apple is making to the EU App Store in iOS 17.4. While developers can stay with the existing App Store for a 30%/15% fee, there are two other options, including one with lower percentages but charging a $0.50 fee per app install.

Ultimately, it is not at all clear how this will turn out. Apple has until March 8 to comply with the EU Digital Markets Act. Regulators have yet to comment formally, other than promising “strong action” if what Apple implements does not comply with the rules.

Apple DMA plans and subsequent complaints

On January 25, Apple announced its changes that will take effect in March 2024 to comply with DMA. For all users, Apple will begin notarizing all iOS apps, regardless of where they are sold.

Developers will be able to offer their own app marketplace in the EU, but they must be approved by Apple and use a human review process. These stores are also responsible for their own refunds, but they may use alternative options. third party payment systems.

At the same time, Apple is changing its commission structure, reducing the standard commission from 30% to 17%. Apps that remain in the App Store will also incur a 3% fee for using Apple's payment processing services.

Oddly enough, all apps not sold through the App Store will be subject to a basic technology fee of €0.50 for the first app installation per year, with no charge for the first million installs.

Apple's proposals naturally caused complaints. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek called the fees “extortion, plain and simple,” while Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney called them “hot garbage” and “an insidious new example of malicious compliance.”

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