Apple has announced changes to iOS, Safari, and the App Store impacting developers’ apps in the European Union (EU) to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
The changes include more than 600 new application programming interfaces (APIs), expanded app analytics, functionality for alternative browser engines, and options for processing app payments and distributing iOS apps. Across every change, Apple is introducing new safeguards that reduce — but don’t eliminate — new risks the DMA poses to EU users. With these steps, Apple will continue to deliver the best, most secure experience possible for EU users.
Apple says the new options for processing payments and downloading apps on iOS open new avenues for malware, fraud and scams, illicit and harmful content, and other privacy and security threats. That’s why the company is introducing protections — including Notarization for iOS apps, an authorization for marketplace developers, and disclosures on alternative payments — to reduce risks and deliver the best, most secure experience possible for users in the EU. Even with these safeguards in place, many risks remain, according to the tech gian.
Developers can learn about these changes on the Apple Developer Support page and can begin testing new capabilities today in the iOS 17.4 beta. The new capabilities will become available to users in the 27 EU countries beginning in March 2024.
“The changes we’re announcing today comply with the Digital Markets Act’s requirements in the European Union, while helping to protect EU users from the unavoidable increased privacy and security threats this regulation brings. Our priority remains creating the best, most secure possible experience for our users in the EU and around the world,” said Phil Schiller, Apple Fellow, in a press release. “Developers can now learn about the new tools and terms available for alternative app distribution and alternative payment processing, new capabilities for alternative browser engines and contactless payments, and more. Importantly, developers can choose to remain on the same business terms in place today if they prefer.”
The changes for EU apps reflect the European Commission’s designation of iOS, Safari, and the App Store as “core platform services” under the Digital Markets Act. In March, Apple will share new resources to help EU users understand the changes they can expect. That includes guidance to help EU users navigate complexities the DMA’s changes bring — including a less intuitive user experience — and best practices for approaching new risks associated with downloading apps and processing payments outside of the App Store.
Available for developers’ apps around the world, Apple also announced new options for streaming games, along with more than 50 forthcoming reports in areas like engagement, commerce, app usage, and more. You can find all the details of the changes here.