iOS 17.5 Lets EU iPhone Users Download Apps From Websites

Apple today released the first beta of iOS 17.5 to developers, and as expected, the update introduces support for downloading apps from developer websites in the European Union.

Apple EU iOS Changes
In iOS 17.4, Apple began allowing developers to offer their apps through alternative app marketplaces in the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act. Apple initially intended for apps to only be available through these marketplaces, but in March, Apple said that it would in fact be adding support for downloading apps directly from websites.

To offer an app for download from a website in the European Union, developers need to meet specific criteria. Developers need to be a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more and must have an app with more than one million first installs on iOS in the European Union in the prior year. Other requirements include submitting to Apple's notarization process and publishing transparent data collection policies.

Apple will provide authorized developers with an API that allows them to offer their apps for download via the web. Apps downloaded this way will be able to be backed up, restored, updated, and more.

This is the first time that Apple has sanctioned downloading an app directly from a website. Support for this feature will allow apps like Spotify, Fortnite, and others to be downloaded directly on iPhones should the developers behind those apps opt in to Apple's terms.

Apps offered through the web do not have to pay any commission to Apple, but they are subject to the 0.50 euro Core Technology Fee.

As with alternative app marketplaces, app downloads from the web are available in the European Union only under the terms of the DMA. Note that apps can only be downloaded this way on the iPhone as the changes do not apply to the iPad.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

Top Rated Comments

3 weeks ago

terrible UX. no thanks.

glad Apple is doing the 0.50 euro fee. developers should not be freeloading off the hard work Apple has done to make this possible.
Why stop there, they should charge 0.50 euro fee per visit to Websites shouldn't be allowed to freeload off the hard work Apple has done to make visiting websites possible.
Score: 85 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdavid_rp Avatar
3 weeks ago

Now people in the EU can download apps with spyware and viruses in them, then get mad at Apple when their Apple ID stuff is stolen. Ill stick to the App Store myself.
Apps can already include spyware, just called “usage statistics”, lol. Remember how a few months ago was discovered that Instagram embedded JavaScript in their in app Safari browser to check what were you doing there.

Also difficult to steal things from outside the sandbox. You could steal contacts and photos, but again, you can do that from an App Store app too.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JSDK Avatar
3 weeks ago
I don't understand anyone getting so upset because we get extra options. It is optional to use them. If you live in the USA or in other countries outside the EU, it will not affect you. You don't have to worry about us in the EU, we are used to not having signs and disclaimers on everything. We also know that hot coffee is hot. Sorry for the last one ?
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Orange Bat Avatar
3 weeks ago

I´m tired of the paternalism of the European Union, as if the user is stupid.
Do you prefer Apple’s paternalism instead then? The EU is trying to provide a choice: you can download from Apple’s App Store or from a developer’s website. That seems less paternalistic than Apple’s way. I will always choose to have a choice over being forced into a corporation’s way of doing things (and I’m no fan of the EU).
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ifxf Avatar
3 weeks ago

Now people in the EU can download apps with spyware and viruses in them, then get mad at Apple when their Apple ID stuff is stolen. Ill stick to the App Store myself.
Well Apple let Facebook place an app masquerading as a VPN that spied on other apps.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
3 weeks ago

Now people in the EU can download apps with spyware and viruses in them, then get mad at Apple when their Apple ID stuff is stolen. Ill stick to the App Store myself.
You can say that about the Mac too. But you know the reputable places to download apps and do research before downloading them.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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