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Here are all the iPhone changes coming to EU users by March 6th

Tim Hardwick

Apple released the first beta versions of its upcoming iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4 software updates to developers on Thursday, and the betas revealed a host of changes that will impact users in the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act. (DMA).


Apple has made several major changes to how the App Store and apps work. operate in the EU to comply with the DMA. These changes are included in iOS 17.4, but are generally limited to countries within the European Union.

Apple is working to have the changes take effect by March 6 for users who update to iOS 17.4. Below we've summarized what will change for affected users and the reasons why Apple has proposed these changes, as well as some related news.

  • Alternative App Stores: App developers in the EU can offer alternative app stores or install their apps through alternative stores, and as part of these changes, Apple has introduced a new fee structure. Any developer can create an app store as long as they meet Apple's criteria for customer experience, fraud prevention, customer support, and more.
  • Alternative payment options: Apple allows apps to use alternative payment options. payment methods, and there is no longer a need to use in-app purchases. Developers can integrate them into their app or link to their websites where users can make a purchase.
  • App Store Notarization: Apple has described how apps are distributed through Alternative App stores in EU countries will have to go through a notarization process similar to the notarization process for Mac apps.
  • Screen Time and Refund Limits:: Apple says apps distributed through alternative app stores won't work with some long-standing features such as Screen Time, Refunds and in-app purchases. , as for standard App Store applications.
  • Access by third parties via NFC. NFC payments will be available directly in apps without the need to use Apple Pay or the Wallet app, allowing third-party payment services and banks to offer their own tap-to-pay solutions on Apple devices in the European Economic Area.
  • Settings Default Browser: EU users will be allowed to choose a new default browser from a list of the most downloaded browsers on iOS devices. Some options include Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Brave and Microsoft Edge.
  • Access for hardware and software developers: Apple will allow developers of iOS apps distributed in the EU to request additional compatibility with iPhone hardware and software features. Apple says it will evaluate compatibility requests on a case-by-case basis.
  • Availability of advanced analytics. As part of changes to the App Store in the EU, Apple is providing all developers worldwide with updated insights. More than 50 new reports will be available through the App Store Connect API to help developers analyze the performance of their apps.

  • Apple's reasons for limiting EU changes: in Apple support document explained why alternative app stores, alternative payment methods and other updates are only available in the EU, highlighting risks such as scams, scams and other privacy threats.

As a direct or indirect consequence of the announced changes to iOS 17.4, other important developments happened overnight.

Apple's new terms in the EU include a core technology fee that some developers warn could bankrupt freemium apps that go viral by charging them astronomical fees. Apple doesn't charge for the first million “first annual installs” per iOS account each year, but after that developers will start charging. Apple's core technology fees could also be prohibitive for apps like Spotify, which have millions of users.

Epic Games says it plans to bring its Epic Games Store to iPhone and iPad under the new policy Apple regarding alternative app stores. weight. The popular Fortnite game will be coming to the Epic Games Store, meaning iPhone and iPad users will be able to install and play the game without the need for a cloud gaming service. Fortnite has been banned from the iOS App Store for the past few years due to a legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games.

Apple also announced that it will allow streaming of gaming apps on the App Store worldwide. This will mean that services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce NOW will be available as standalone apps on iPhone and iPad, whereas previously they were only available online.


Technology companies must comply with EU DMA rules by March 6, 2024. iOS 17.4 is currently available as a beta update, and it is set for a public release in March. Given Apple's concerns about user privacy and security, the company is unlikely to implement similar changes globally without being forced to do so by similar legislation in other countries.

Tags: App Store, European Union[ 176 comments ]

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