Alternative app stores and other EU-specific updates are now available in iPadOS 18 Beta 2

Apple announced on Monday that updates for apps in the European Union (EU) are now available for testing in iPadOS 18 beta 2 using Xcode 16 beta 2. 

Earlier this year, Apple implemented several changes for iPhones in the EU with iOS 17.4 to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act. Now, nearly two months after the European Commission recognized iPadOS as a gatekeeper platform, these changes have been extended to iPads with iPadOS 18 beta 2.

Among the updates are alternative payment options in the App Store, a default web browser selection screen in Safari, and the ability for web browsers to use engines other than Apple’s WebKit on both iPhones and iPads. Additionally, Apple’s existing terms, including the Core Technology Fee for alternative app marketplaces, will apply to iPads.

Currently, iPadOS 18 is in beta for developers, with a public beta expected in July and a general release anticipated in September.

Although Apple claims that it complies with the DMA with its updates, the European Commission announced a preliminary view that Apple’s App Store anti-steering rules violate the DMA. 

The Commission has initiated a formal investigation into Apple’s ‘alternative business terms,’ which permit developers to distribute apps outside the App Store. This investigation will evaluate the Core Technology Fee (CTF), a per-install payment model, as well as the complexities involved in enabling and installing third-party app marketplaces. The goal is to assess whether these terms and practices comply with DMA regulations.

Written by Sophie Blake


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