Apple will let iOS devs distribute apps to EU users directly from their websites this spring

In response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple announced on Tuesday that authorized app developers will gain the ability to distribute apps directly to EU users from their websites starting this spring. 

“Web Distribution, available with a software update later this spring, will let authorized developers distribute their iOS apps to EU users directly from a website owned by the developer. Apple will provide authorized developers access to APIs that facilitate the distribution of their apps from the web, integrate with system functionality, back up and restore users’ apps, and more,“ Apple said in a blog post

Apple also noted in a support page that apps offered through Web Distribution should meet Notarization requirements for safeguarding platform integrity, and can only be installed from a website domain that the developer has registered in App Store Connect.

Before users can install apps from a developer’s website, they must first grant approval for the developer to install apps in their iPhone Settings. During the installation process, a system sheet will showcase details submitted by developers to Apple for review, including the app name, developer name, app description, screenshots, and system age rating.

The DMA, enacted last week, compels Apple to dismantle its closed ecosystem and implement various changes, including allowing alternative app stores on iPhones and permitting developers to opt out of the in-app payment system, which charges fees reaching up to 30%.

Among the changes, developers establishing alternative app marketplaces can now offer a catalog exclusively of the marketplace developer’s own apps, effective immediately. Additionally, developers are granted the freedom to design in-app promotions, discounts, and other deals when guiding users to complete transactions on their websites instead of adhering to Apple’s template.

Critics have consistently voiced concerns about Apple’s compliance efforts, and the new DMA regulations may impose fines of up to 10% of a company’s global turnover for violations. In response to these changes, Apple expressed its commitment to flexibility for developers distributing apps in the European Union. As the industry navigates these regulatory shifts, Apple aims to strike a balance between adhering to new regulations and empowering developers within the evolving landscape of digital ecosystems.

Written by Jordan Bevan


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