NIX Solutions: Apple Faces European Scrutiny Over Decision to Halt Support for Web Applications on iPhone

European authorities are contemplating a potential investigation into Apple’s recent decision to cease support for web applications on iPhones within the region, as reported by the Financial Times. The European Commission has taken steps by sending requests to both Apple and application developers to gather additional information for a comprehensive assessment of the situation.

NIX Solutions

Progressive Web Apps Under Scrutiny

“We do vet compliance proposals with gatekeepers, including Apple. In this context, we are looking at the issue of progressive web apps in particular and can confirm sending requests for clarification to Apple and app developers who may provide useful information for our review,” stated European Commission spokesperson Lea Zuber to The Verge. Apple, in response to journalists’ inquiries, directed them to the relevant page in the technical support section on its website.

iOS 17.4 Update and Changes

Apple had previously announced that the release of iOS 17.4 would disable support for progressive web applications (PWA) on iPhones. These applications will no longer function as separate entities with independent data storage and notifications; instead, they will be converted into browser bookmarks. Apple justified this move by citing the European Digital Markets Act (DMA), which requires full support for browser engines on iOS, not limited to Safari WebKit. The company claimed that achieving PWA support with other browsers would necessitate developing an entirely new integration architecture, which it deemed impractical given other DMA requirements. Additional factors influencing the decision included the feature’s low popularity and perceived security threats.

Open Web Advocacy’s Initiative

Open Web Advocacy, a non-profit organization, has initiated a survey to assess the impact of Apple’s new policies on developers. The survey results will be submitted to the European Commission, contributing to the ongoing discussions and considerations surrounding Apple’s decision, notes NIX Solutions.

In conclusion, the European scrutiny of Apple’s decision highlights the complex interplay between regulatory requirements, technological considerations, and the impact on developers in the evolving digital landscape. The investigation seeks to ensure a balanced approach that addresses both compliance with regulations and the practical implications for users and developers.