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iOS 17.4 looks set to remove web app support for iPhone users in the EU

Apple recently released a beta version of iOS 17.4 in compliance with the European Union's Digital Markets Authority (DMA) antitrust laws, which forced the company Allow alternative app stores on iPhone. The update also contains some changes related to web browsers, as well as some bad news. EU users who installed the beta have noticed that they can no longer install and run web apps on their iPhone.

Web apps no longer work for iPhone users in the EU

From the very beginning, Apple allowed users to add websites to the iPhone's home screen so they could be used as web apps. Over the past few years, Apple has added many features to improve support for web applications. For example, iOS 16.4 allowed PWAs to deliver push notifications with icons.

But now all these improvements seem to have disappeared – at least for those living in Europe. As noted by developer Maximiliano Firtman, the iOS 17.4 beta removes support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for users in the EU.

Firtman initially believed that PWAs did not work on iOS. Beta version 17.4 due to a bug. However, with the release of the second beta of iOS 17.4 earlier this week, the system now displays a warning telling users that web apps “will now open from the default browser.” And while you can still add websites to the iPhone's home screen, they simply open in the user's default web browser.

This has many implications for users. For example, all data stored in these web applications is automatically deleted along with the update. Websites can also no longer send push notifications to users.

iOS 17.4 and DMA

Top Nozuki's comment

Liked by 3 people

Perhaps they simply do not have a ready-made API to support various browser engines. (And then other browsers will have to add support for it too.) Otherwise, it will likely still fall into the “unfair terms” category.

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Apple has not yet commented on these changes, but they seem to be related to DMA. One of the requirements of the new EU legislation is that Apple must allow developers to create web browsers using its own engine. Currently, every web browser available on iOS must be based on Apple WebKit.

As a result, iOS 17.4 not only allows developers to release web browsers with alternative engines in the EU, but the system now asks if which web browser the user wants as default. However, since web apps are also based on Safari and WebKit, Apple may have decided to remove PWAs in the EU to avoid being accused of continuing to use its own engine.

It's still unclear. at this point, will Apple find a workaround or will PWAs become a thing of the past for those living in the EU.

iOS 17.4 is expected to be released to the general public in the first week of March. .

Read also

  • Apple wants you to know that the App Store is safe and secure place” ahead of EU changes.
  • App Store changes: EU is watching and ready to “take decisive action”

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