iOS 17.5 Lets EU iPhone Users Download Apps From Websites

Apple today released the first beta of iOS 17.5 to developers, and as expected, the update introduces support for downloading apps from developer websites in the European Union.

Apple EU iOS Changes
In iOS 17.4, Apple began allowing developers to offer their apps through alternative app marketplaces in the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act. Apple initially intended for apps to only be available through these marketplaces, but in March, Apple said that it would in fact be adding support for downloading apps directly from websites.

To offer an app for download from a website in the European Union, developers need to meet specific criteria. Developers need to be a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more and must have an app with more than one million first installs on iOS in the European Union in the prior year. Other requirements include submitting to Apple’s notarization process and publishing transparent data collection policies.

Apple will provide authorized developers with an API that allows them to offer their apps for download via the web. Apps downloaded this way will be able to be backed up, restored, updated, and more.

This is the first time that Apple has sanctioned downloading an app directly from a website. Support for this feature will allow apps like Spotify, Fortnite, and others to be downloaded directly on iPhones should the developers behind those apps opt in to Apple’s terms.

Apps offered through the web do not have to pay any commission to Apple, but they are subject to the 0.50 euro Core Technology Fee.

As with alternative app marketplaces, app downloads from the web are available in the European Union only under the terms of the DMA. Note that apps can only be downloaded this way on the iPhone as the changes do not apply to the iPad.

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