Apple Announces Ability to Download iPhone Apps From Websites in EU

Apple today announced three further changes for developers in the European Union, allowing them to distribute apps directly from webpages, choose how to design in-app promotions, and more.

Apple EU iOS Changes
Apple last week enabled alternative app stores in the EU in iOS 17.4, allowing third-party app stores to offer a catalog of other developers' apps as well as the marketplace developer's own apps. As of today, Apple is allowing third-party app stores to offer apps solely from their own catalog. For example, a games studio could create an app store on iOS that exclusively offers their own games.

When directing users to complete a transaction on their website, developers can also now choose how to design their in-app promotions, discounts, and deals. Apple's templates for designing these links out to websites are optional as of today.

In addition, developers will soon be able to distribute apps directly from their websites, providing they meet Apple's specific criteria, such as being a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more and having an app with more than one million first installs on iOS in the EU in the prior year, and commit to ongoing requirements, such as publishing transparent data collection policies. Apps distributed in this way must meet Apple's notarization requirements like all other iOS apps and can only be installed from a web domain registered in App Store Connect.

Authorized developers will gain access to APIs to facilitate app distribution from the web, integration with system functionality, back up and restore, and more. Web distribution will become available following a software update later in the spring – allowing app downloads directly from a website for the first time on iOS.

The latest changes are part of Apple's Digital Markets Act (DMA) compliance plan and only apply within the European Union.

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Top Rated Comments

User 6502 Avatar
14 weeks ago

sounds like a massive fail for the user experience

"hey you want our app?"

"yeah but I don't see it on the App Store"

"nah you gotta go to the website and download because we want more money"

"terrible"

"oh and type it correctly or else you might go to a scam site"

this is so stupid
It has worked like that on Mac since forever and it has been just fine.
Score: 104 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MayaUser Avatar
14 weeks ago
This is close to macOS now...iOS is becoming more like macOS thanks to the EU
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mvwoensel Avatar
14 weeks ago
Nice try, but "being a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more and having an app with more than one million first installs on iOS in the EU in the prior year" isn't going to be accepted by the European Commission. These requirements still block new or small developers from exercising their rights under the DMA.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
timber Avatar
14 weeks ago
Apple seems to be starting to understand that all those meetings they had with the EU weren't negotiation rounds.

They were so they could understand better want they had to do.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
User 6502 Avatar
14 weeks ago
Excellent news. At this rate in a few months there will be very little left of the disgraceful malicious compliance to DMA Apple tried.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ael_MR Avatar
14 weeks ago

sounds like a massive fail for the user experience

"hey you want our app?"

"yeah but I don't see it on the App Store"

"nah you gotta go to the website and download because we want more money"

"terrible"

"oh and type it correctly or else you might go to a scam site"

this is so stupid
People will downvote you but the reality for most users is anything that isn't nearly automatic will cause most people to freeze and not take the extra step to complete. I see this day in and out for 1000's of users for the most simplest of tasks. Anyone posting here does not understand the success of the app store is in this simplicity.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)