Apple confirms iOS 17.4 removes Home Screen web apps in the EU, here’s why | Technology

App Store Security.webp.jpeg

iOS 17.4 offers a number of changes for the App Store and iPhone in the European Union. This includes things like third-party app marketplaces and support for alternative browser engines. One byproduct of these changes, however, is that iOS 17.4 removes support for Home Screen web apps in the EU.

Apple has now offered an explanation for this decision, confirming that the omission was not a bug. Instead, it’s because of requirements under the Digital Markets Act.

Web apps on iOS 17.4 in the EU

Last week, iPhone users in the European Union noticed that they were no longer able to install and run web apps on their iPhone’s Home Screen in iOS 17.4. Apple has added a number of features over the years to improve support for progressive web apps on iPhone. For example, iOS 16.4 allowed PWAs to deliver push notifications with icon badges.

One change in iOS 17.4 is that the iPhone now supports alternative browser engines in the EU. This allows companies to build browsers that don’t use Apple’s WebKit engine for the first time. Apple says that this change, required by the Digital Markets Act, is why it has been forced to remove Home Screen web apps support in the European Union.

Apple explains that it would have to build an “entirely new integration architecture that does not currently exist in iOS” to address the “complex security and privacy concerns associated with web apps using alternative browser engines.”

This work “was not practical to undertake given the other demands of the DMA and the very low user adoption of Home Screen web apps,” Apple explains. “And so, to comply with the DMA’s requirements, we had to…

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