Apple's Decision to Disable Web Apps Attracts Scrutiny in EU

The European Commission is considering investigating Apple's move to disable Home Screen web apps in the EU, the Financial Times reports.

European Commisssion
Following the release of the second beta version of iOS 17.4, it emerged that Apple had restricted the functionality of iOS web apps in the EU. Web apps can no longer launch from the ‌Home Screen‌ in their own top-level window that takes up the entire screen, relegating them to a simple shortcut with an option to open within Safari instead. Critics argue that the move undermines the role of web apps as viable alternatives to native apps in iOS.

EU competition regulators sent questions to developers last week to determine the impact of the change in what is apparently seen as a precursor to an in-depth probe. The European Commission confirmed its scrutiny to the Financial Times:

We are indeed looking at the compliance packages of all gatekeepers, including Apple. In that context, we're in particular looking into the issue of progressive web apps, and can confirm sending the requests for information to Apple and to app developers, who can provide useful information for our assessment.

Apple claims that it had to make the change to how web apps work in iOS to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA), arguing that third-party browsers used with web apps in Europe could expose users to unlawful security and privacy risks. It believes that the adjustments will only affect a small number of users.

A potential probe into web apps could come after the March 6 deadline for Apple to comply with the DMA, but formal proceedings could be prevented if Apple makes further concessions.

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Top Rated Comments

erikkfi Avatar
7 weeks ago
Drag ‘em, EU. Apple’s behavior has been nothing short of disgraceful. “Core technology fee” indeed.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DFZD Avatar
7 weeks ago
EU is the Hero we need but don’t deserve.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Verified Whiskey Avatar
7 weeks ago
At first glance it seems weird and fishy for sure, but it’s a good point from Apple on the security front. iOS has unparalleled security right now. Opening it up like macOS creates the possibility of malware and viruses to get in. Not saying it’s guaranteed, especially if they implement something similar to Gatekeeper but on iOS, but still. If we have to have iOS become open forcefully like this from the overreaching EU bureaucrats, I’d prefer to keep security at the forefront of decision making from Apple’s point. Like they have since the beginning.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spazzcat Avatar
7 weeks ago

Drag ‘em, EU. Apple’s behavior has been nothing short of disgraceful. “Core technology fee” indeed.
How is it disgraceful for for-profit companies wanting to make money off of their technology?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
7 weeks ago
In other news... EU has issue with Apple calling itself Apple. Fines probable.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
7 weeks ago

Shocker. Apple, just tell them to go **** themselves and leave already.
I really want to hear the earnings call after that decision. "As you know, because the European Union decided to exercise their right to regulate commerce, we abandoned that entire market, resulting in a sales and profit drop of about 20% across the board and leading to our lowest overall sales volume since 2013."

Take that, EU!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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