Another radical change is coming to the iPhone with iOS 17.5

To make the iPhone compliant with the Digital Markets Act, Apple made significant changes to its iOS platform through the iOS 17.4 update. For example, through this update the Cupertino company authorizes the use of alternative stores in the App Store, to download applications. Also through this update it allows Apple Pay competitors to use the iPhone's NFC module. And in this update, Apple also introduced the selection screen, which makes it easier to choose a default browser other than Safari.

However, there should be more iOS transformations to come in the European Union. And among the new features that will come, is the distribution of applications via web. Essentially, in addition to authorizing App Store competitors, Apple will also authorize certain developers to offer their apps for immediate download, without going through the store. This new feature should be available in a future version of the operating system: iOS 17.5.

iOS 17.5 is currently in beta testing with developers. And according to an article from 9to5Mac, new features available in this beta include support for distributing iOS apps over the web. In other words, when iOS 17.5 is released to users, eligible developers will be able to start distributing their apps directly from their websites, without going through the App Store or any of its competitors.

Important limitations remain

Obviously, being able to download apps directly from a website in Europe is a big change for iOS. However, it is important to clarify that despite this change, iPhone users still do not enjoy the same freedom as Android users. In fact, apps can only be downloaded from their developers' websites. Furthermore, this new distribution method will only be accessible to a very limited number of companies.

Indeed, in order for a developer to access distribution over the internet, they must “I've been a member in good standing of the Apple Developer Program for two or more consecutive years, and you have an app that had over 1 million annual first-time installs on iOS in the EU in the previous calendar year.” Additionally, even when a developer distributes their app from their website, without going through the App Store, they still have to pay technology fees to Apple if they exceed a threshold. “Developers will pay a CTF (editor's note, core technology fee) of €0.50 for each first annual install over one million in the last 12 months.” it can also be read on Apple's website.

Other appearance changes

In any case, it is important to note that the changes announced by Apple, as part of its compliance with the Digital Markets Act, did not satisfy the European Commission. We remind you that Brussels has opened an official procedure to investigate the compliance of Alphabet, Apple and Meta with the new legislation. As we reported in a previous article, the Commission points, for example, to the fact that some pre-installed iPhone applications still cannot be uninstalled. In addition, the EU is currently reviewing Apple's new developer fees, including technology fees.

  • To comply with the Digital Markets Act, Apple already authorizes the use of stores that compete with the App Store in the European Union
  • But this will also empower some developers to distribute their apps directly from their websites, in the upcoming iOS 17.5 release
  • However, iPhone users are still not as free as Android users

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