Apple EU App Store Changes: iPad, TestFlight, Default Stores and More

by Julie Clover

Apple announced a ton of changes to the app ecosystem in the European Union yesterday, and the deluge of information may have revealed a few details that developers and device users may have overlooked.

We've rounded up a few lesser-known details that clarify what these updates mean. for iPhone and other products.

iPad and other devices

Digital Markets Act requires Apple to make changes to both “iOS” and “App Store” . “, with the European Commission defining iOS as the operating system running on the ‌iPhone‌, and the ‌App Store‌” as a cross-platform organization that works across all Apple operating systems.

For this reason, some changes Apple is making are exclusive to ‌iPhone‌, while others will appear in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.

Only for iPhone

  • Alternative app marketplaces. Alternative app marketplaces will only be available on the ‌iPhone‌, not the iPad, so the ‌iPad‌ It will not be possible to install a third-party application store. It will also not be possible to install an application from an alternative application store on the ‌iPad‌. Alternative apps from the store would be ‌iPhone‌ only.
  • Notarization of applications. Notarization is associated with alternative app marketplaces and will apply to iOS apps, not iPadOS apps.
  • Alternate browser engines. – Allowing browsers to use an alternative engine is a feature that also ‌iPhone‌ only. Chrome, for example, will only be able to use a non-WebKit engine for its Chrome for ‌iPhone‌ app, not Chrome for ‌iPad‌ application.
  • NFC access– Banking applications and wallets on ‌iPhone‌ can access NFC technology, and users can set alternative default contactless payment apps.

Changes to the App Store for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS

  • Apple's new commercial terms. New commercial terms include a fee for the underlying technology and reduced fees for using the ‌App Store‌ fees apply to all platforms.
  • Third Party Payments. Developers can opt out of in-app purchases by instead using a third-party payment provider for digital goods and services.
  • App Store Shortcuts. If an app uses alternative payment processing, this will be noted in the ‌App Store‌ on the product page and on the in-app disclosure page, which alerts customers that the developer recommends they transact through an alternative payment system.
  • Payment Links– Developers can add a link , allowing users to complete a transaction on the developer's website, and can also inform users about promotions, discounts, and offers available outside of their apps.

Default app. Trading platforms

‌iPhone‌ users in Europe can choose an alternative default app marketplace on their device, as required by the DMA. This feature does nothing other than show results from an alternative app store in Spotlight search when the search contains something available in that marketplace.

App Store Requirements

App marketplaces must provide Apple with proof of solvency in the form of a €1 million letter of credit. While apps installed through marketplaces do not have to pay the €0.50 core technology fee for the first 1 million “first installs” of an app, this does not apply to app marketplaces. The fee must be paid immediately.

Developers wishing to create an app marketplace must be present in the European Union.

App marketplaces must pay a core technology fee only for installing apps on the marketplace. Individual app fees will be charged by those apps, not by the marketplace on which they are listed.

An app marketplace cannot have just one app because there is a requirement that marketplaces be fair to developers. Marketplaces may have requirements for, for example, all games or all educational apps, but all apps in that category must be able to apply to that marketplace.

Installing the App Marketplace

The App Store can be installed as an app through Safari or another web browser from the App Store developer.

App Store limitations and capabilities

Marketplace apps are compatible with basic iOS functions. They will appear in Spotlight, will be able to work with most Screen Time features, and will be included in iCloud backups.

Screen Time purchase restrictions will not be available for App Store apps, nor will Family access to purchases or universal purchases.

Apple will not sell alternative app stores or offer them as options to users. Developers will need to create custom audiences for their marketplaces. Apple will also have no say in refunds or subscription management tools, as the user must contact the store to obtain these options.

Manage alternative apps from the store

If an alternative Marketplace app is removed from an ‌iPhone‌, apps that were installed through that Marketplace will not be able to be updated until the Marketplace is reinstalled.

Users will be able to see which marketplace they are in application. was downloaded from the Settings app.

Accepting Apple's new business terms

Developers who agree to Apple's new business terms, including core technology fees and reduced fees, cannot return to the previous system. This is a one-time change.

Compliance with new business terms is done on a per-account basis, not on a per-application basis.

Notarization and Verification

While notarization scans for malware and viruses and ensures the app does what it claims, Apple will have less control over the content. Copyright infringement, intellectual property theft, and other violations should be reported to individual app stores, not Apple.


Developers can use TestFlight to test an app. that is being developed for an alternative marketplace, even if the application will not be distributed through the ‌App Store‌.


NFC changes apply to countries in the European Economic Area and not just in EU countries. The European Economic Area also includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, countries that are not members of the European Union.

Other questions

There are other questions about how the app ecosystem works Has it changed in the EU? Let us know in the comments below.

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