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Apple under fire for disabling iPhone web apps– EU asks designers to weigh in

Europe has concerns– EU sent out inquiries to Apple and app designers as Apple eliminates home screen web apps.

Jon Brodkin – Feb 27, 2024 5:41 pm UTC

Increase the size of/ An Apple Store in Hangzhou, China on February 20, 2024.

European Commission authorities are penetrating Apple’s choice to eliminate home screen web apps from iPhones and iPads in Europe. The EC validated it is inquiring from Apple and app designers who would be impacted by the modification, starting a procedure that might result in an official examination.

“We are certainly taking a look at the compliance bundles of all gatekeepers, consisting of Apple,” a European Commission representative informed Ars. “In that context, we’re in specific checking out the concern of Progressive Web Apps, and can validate sending out the ask for details to Apple and to app designers, who can offer beneficial info for our evaluation.”

Apple is eliminating the capability to set up home screen web apps in Europe when iOS 17.4 is launched, declaring it is too difficult to keep using the function under the European Union’s brand-new Digital Markets Act (DMA).

A Financial Times report the other day stated that Europe’s “competitors regulators sent out concerns to designers recently looking for to figure out the effect of Apple’s choice to disable so-called ‘progressive web apps’ in the EU, in a relocation viewed as a precursor towards an extensive probe.”

“EU authorities stated official procedures might be avoided if Apple made more concessions,” the feet composed.

March 6 compliance due date

Apple and other business are needed to adhere to the DMA by March 6. European authorities will assess whether Apple’s compliance strategy satisfies the requirements. “The DMA group is prepared to act if and when required following expiration of compliance due date,” the EC representative stated.

The DMA offers fines of approximately 10 percent of a “business’s overall around the world yearly turnover” and approximately 20 percent for repeat violations.

After the iOS 17.4 modifications, it will still be possible to include site bookmarks to iPhone and iPad home screens. Those bookmarks would take the user to the web internet browser rather of a different web app.

The Digital Markets Act targets “gatekeepers” of specific innovations such as running systems, web browsers, and online search engine. It needs gatekeepers to let 3rd parties interoperate with the gatekeepers’ own services and restricts them from preferring their own services at the cost of rivals.

Group knocks Apple’s “attack on open web”

Open Web Advocacy, which explains itself as “a not-for-profit company comprised of a loose group of software application engineers from all over the world,” called Apple’s choice “a direct attack on the open web, its users, and its designers.”

“This is absolutely not needed by the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). It’s a circumvention of both the spirit and the letter of the Act, and if the EU permits it, then the DMA will have stopped working in its goal to permit reasonable and reliable web browser and web app competitors,” the group stated.

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