Apple Reverses Decision On Blocking Web Apps For IPhones In The EU


Apple has made a significant reversal in its decision to block web apps, also known as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), on iPhones in the EU. The company has announced that it will reinstate the functionality in the upcoming public release of iOS 17.4, following numerous requests from developers and users.

Key Takeaway

Apple has decided to reinstate support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on iPhones in the EU, following public pressure and regulatory scrutiny. The company’s reversal will allow developers and users to continue utilizing web apps directly on WebKit, aligning with iOS security and privacy standards.

What are Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)?

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web applications that can function like native apps, providing access to various device functionalities while occupying minimal space on the user’s device. They can also offer features such as notifications and persistent login sessions.

Apple’s Initial Decision and Concerns

Previously, Apple had reduced the functionality of PWAs, treating them as mere website shortcuts, citing security risks associated with malicious web apps accessing sensitive data and device features. This decision was also linked to the company’s efforts to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Regulatory Response and Public Pressure

Apple’s move to limit PWAs was met with scrutiny from regulators, prompting investigations and inquiries into the matter. Additionally, public pressure mounted as organizations and individuals, including internet advocate Cory Doctorow and Vercel CTO Malte Ubl, called for the reversal of the ban on web apps through an open letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple’s Reversal and Updated Support

Apple’s reversal applies specifically to web apps based on WebKit, ensuring that the existing Home Screen web apps capability will be maintained in the EU. This support will enable developers and users to continue utilizing PWAs directly on WebKit, aligning with the security and privacy standards for native iOS apps.

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