Apple to Continue iPhone Web Apps Support in EU in iOS 17.4

Apple has announced it will not remove support for Home Screen web apps in the EU with the upcoming iOS 17.4 update, contrary to its previous statement (via 9to5Mac).

Ios 17 hero

Last month, Apple had confirmed plans to discontinue support for iOS web apps in the EU, citing requirements under the Digital Markets Act. The decision sparked criticism from various quarters, including the Open Web Advocacy organization, which argued that the move would render entire categories of apps nonviable on the web.

However, responding to the backlash, Apple has now reversed its decision, stating that it will maintain the existing capability for Home Screen web apps in the EU.

Explaining the reversal, Apple cited the need to align with the security and privacy model for native apps on iOS. The company emphasized that Home Screen web apps will continue to be built directly on WebKit, ensuring consistency with the security architecture.

This means that despite the initial announcement, Home Screen web apps will remain powered by WebKit, regardless of whether they are added using Safari or other methods.

Apple clarified that this arrangement will persist in iOS 17.4 as it has for years, ensuring continuity for users in the EU.

IOS 17

The decision to retain support for Home Screen web apps comes after widespread criticism and reports of potential investigations by EU authorities.

Apple had previously stated that building a new integration architecture to address security concerns associated with alternative browser engines was not practical.

With this latest announcement, Apple seeks to address concerns raised by users and advocacy groups, reaffirming its commitment to providing a seamless experience for EU consumers.

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