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Apple Reverses Decision on PWAs in the EU

Big News for EU iOS Users: Apple has backtracked on its decision to discontinue support for Progressive Web Apps (PWA) on iOS devices. Effective from March 1, 2024, users in the EU can continue enjoying the comfort of installing and using web apps directly from their home screen.

Initial Decision on PWAs: Apple initially announced the removal of home screen web apps as part of its efforts to comply with the upcoming DMA regulations, citing complex security and privacy concerns associated with supporting alternative browser engines. This decision was informed by the potential vulnerabilities and malicious uses of web apps, leading Apple to consider discontinuing the feature.

Why the Reversal?: The change of the decision comes amid preparations for the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the EU, aimed at encouraging competition and regulating big tech’s dominance. Despite initial removal due to security concerns and an attempt to comply with DMA, Apple faced considerable pushback, leading to this positive turn for developers and users alike.

Background Context: Apple’s initial decision to remove PWAs was met with surprise and disappointment, especially as the latest iOS beta version lacked this feature. Thankfully, iOS 17.4 will restore this capability, reinforcing Apple’s commitment to user and developer needs amidst regulatory compliance.

Criticism and Compliance: Apple’s interpretation of DMA regulations has been controversial, drawing criticism from major tech players like Meta and Microsoft. These companies accuse Apple of “malicious compliance” that undermines the DMA’s intent to enhance competition.