Apple will allow EU iPhone users to remove Safari and make it easier to switch to Android

By Julie Clover

In addition to adding support for alternative app stores and alternative payment methods in the European Union, Apple is making a number of other changes to comply with the Digital Markets Act. Apple today outlined some of its future plans in a DMA compliance report [PDF].

Apple is going to make it easier for iPhone users to switch to another operating system in the European Union. Apple says it is working on a solution that will help mobile operating system providers create “more user-friendly solutions” for transferring data from ‌iPhone‌ to a third party phone. The solution will be available in the fall of 2025, after which companies such as Samsung and Google will be able to offer more efficient tools for transferring data from ‌iPhone‌.

EU ‌iPhone‌ Users will be able to completely remove Safari from their devices starting in late 2024, and an alternative browser will be able to take its place. As part of this plan, Apple is developing a browser switching solution to export and import browser data to another browser on the same device. Apple has already begun supporting alternative web browser mechanisms, which is another requirement of DMA.

To improve compatibility between ‌iPhone‌ and other smartphone platforms, Apple allows third-party payment apps access to the NFC chip on the ‌iPhone‌ for contactless payments that are not made through Apple Pay, and also allows developers to submit requests for additional compatibility.

Compatibility requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they are within the scope of the DMA and whether they can be develop an effective interoperability solution.

EU developers have the opportunity to request additional mediation beyond the standard Application Review Board assessment. Developers wishing to challenge unsuccessful appeals to the App Review Board can request mediation, a process that Apple says is “EU-based, easily accessible, impartial, independent and free.”

All of these changes are only available to developers and users in the European Union as required by the Digital Markets Act.

Tags: App Store, Apple Developer Program, European Union[ 282 comments ]

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