Progressive Web Apps Stay on Apple’s Home Screen in EU: A Policy Reversal

web apps to Remain accessible in EU

Jeeva Shanmugam
By Jeeva Shanmugam
3 Min Read
Highlights
  • Apple reverses decision, keeping PWAs accessible in EU with iOS 17.4 update.
  • Users rejoice as PWAs offer app-like experiences without full App Store downloads.
  • Questions remain on Apple's compliance with EU regulations and future implications.

Apple has unexpectedly reversed course and decided to keep progressive web apps to accessible in EU with the upcoming iOS 17.4 update. This sudden action is the result of weeks of widespread misunderstanding and criticism from both users and developers.

Apple to Allow Progressive Web Apps to Remain Accessible in EU

The tech community was rocked last month when Apple revealed that iOS 17.4 would no longer allow PWAs to be added to the home screen in the EU. The Digital Markets Act (DMA), an EU regulation intended to promote fair competition within the digital marketplace, was cited as the justification for this decision. Apple argued that PWAs had to be removed because the DMA required other browser engines to run on iPhones.

Apple Retains Progressive Web Apps in EU: iOS 17.4 Update
Image Credits: 9to5Mac

Industry insiders were dubious about this explanation, wondering how PWAs—which run on Apple’s proprietary WebKit rendering engine—could conflict with the DMA. Critics also expressed worries about how this would affect user choice and how it might hurt smaller developers who depend on PWAs for their apps.

Apple seems to have changed its mind in response to growing pressure. In revised developer guidelines, the business now says:

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“We have received requests to continue to offer support for Home Screen progressive web apps in iOS, therefore we will continue to offer the existing Home Screen progressive web apps capability in the EU.”

Apple goes on to say that this ruling allows PWAs to carry on operating within the WebKit framework, guaranteeing compliance with security and privacy standards that are on par with native apps.

What Does it Mean for Users?

For developers and users throughout the EU, this reversal is a major win. iPhone users will still be able to access PWAs, which offer app-like experiences without requiring full App Store downloads. This is especially advantageous for web-based applications and cloud gaming platforms, which might not have native counterparts.

Although Apple’s policy reversal is certainly good news, however, it’s still unclear if this is a long-term solution or just a stopgap meant to appease EU authorities while Apple looks for a better way to be more compliant with the DMA. The bigger problem, however, is the lack of support other browser engines on its devices.

- Advertisement -

Overall, the constant conflict between tech companies and regulatory organizations like the EU is highlighted by Apple’s about-face. Future advancements in the pursuit of a more transparent and competitive digital market are unavoidable as long as the DMA is implemented. This episode also highlights the power of user feedback, as it is highly likely that the loud protests from consumers and developers had a big impact on Apple’s decision-making.

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Highlights
  • Apple reverses decision, keeping PWAs accessible in EU with iOS 17.4 update.
  • Users rejoice as PWAs offer app-like experiences without full App Store downloads.
  • Questions remain on Apple's compliance with EU regulations and future implications.

Apple has unexpectedly reversed course and decided to keep progressive web apps to accessible in EU with the upcoming iOS 17.4 update. This sudden action is the result of weeks of widespread misunderstanding and criticism from both users and developers.

Apple to Allow Progressive Web Apps to Remain Accessible in EU

The tech community was rocked last month when Apple revealed that iOS 17.4 would no longer allow PWAs to be added to the home screen in the EU. The Digital Markets Act (DMA), an EU regulation intended to promote fair competition within the digital marketplace, was cited as the justification for this decision. Apple argued that PWAs had to be removed because the DMA required other browser engines to run on iPhones.

Apple Retains Progressive Web Apps in EU: iOS 17.4 Update
Image Credits: 9to5Mac

Industry insiders were dubious about this explanation, wondering how PWAs—which run on Apple’s proprietary WebKit rendering engine—could conflict with the DMA. Critics also expressed worries about how this would affect user choice and how it might hurt smaller developers who depend on PWAs for their apps.

Apple seems to have changed its mind in response to growing pressure. In revised developer guidelines, the business now says:

- Advertisement -

“We have received requests to continue to offer support for Home Screen progressive web apps in iOS, therefore we will continue to offer the existing Home Screen progressive web apps capability in the EU.”

Apple goes on to say that this ruling allows PWAs to carry on operating within the WebKit framework, guaranteeing compliance with security and privacy standards that are on par with native apps.

What Does it Mean for Users?

For developers and users throughout the EU, this reversal is a major win. iPhone users will still be able to access PWAs, which offer app-like experiences without requiring full App Store downloads. This is especially advantageous for web-based applications and cloud gaming platforms, which might not have native counterparts.

Although Apple’s policy reversal is certainly good news, however, it’s still unclear if this is a long-term solution or just a stopgap meant to appease EU authorities while Apple looks for a better way to be more compliant with the DMA. The bigger problem, however, is the lack of support other browser engines on its devices.

- Advertisement -

Overall, the constant conflict between tech companies and regulatory organizations like the EU is highlighted by Apple’s about-face. Future advancements in the pursuit of a more transparent and competitive digital market are unavoidable as long as the DMA is implemented. This episode also highlights the power of user feedback, as it is highly likely that the loud protests from consumers and developers had a big impact on Apple’s decision-making.

TAGGED:
Share This Article
Making spicy content on the Internet!
Leave a comment