Apple mercifully backpedals on removing iOS web apps in the EU

It was all a big misunderstanding.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple backtracks on removing web apps in the EU after initial outrage from users and developers.
  • DMA laws in the EU continue to impact tech companies like Apple, forcing them to adjust their policies.
  • The tech industry is facing challenges in complying with new regulations while balancing global user expectations.

A few weeks ago, Apple announced that it would prevent users from creating Home Screen web apps for people in the EU. It caused quite a stir, and now, Apple seems to have taken note of the outrage. The company has now announced that it will no longer remove web apps on iPhones.


iPhone 15 review: A major yet sneaky upgrade from its predecessor

Apple’s iPhone 15 might look like last year’s iPhone 14, and the iPhone 13 before that. But it’s an upgrade that impresses nonetheless.

Apple backtracks on its iPhone web app removal plans

A close up of iPhone AirDrop menu showing sent.

Apple posted an update on its Apple Developer website, as part of its Q&A section. If you head to “Developer Q&A” and expand the “Why don’t users in the EU have access to Home Screen web apps?” section, you’ll find Apple’s new stance on the topic:

As it appears from this update, it seems that Apple originally moved to get rid of Home Screen web apps to comply with the new DMA rules in the EU. The company likely believed that the web-based apps were not secure enough under the new DMA laws, but after a bit of consideration, deemed them valid for EU use and reverted their original stance.

The European Union’s DMA laws continue to shake up the tech industry

An image of the Apple logo on the outside of an Apple Store.

Source: Unsplash

If this is the first time you’ve heard of the EU’s DMA laws, they has become a major thorn in Apple’s side lately. Named the Digital Markets Act, the rules ensures that the tech world doesn’t include what it deems as “gatekeepers;” large companies that can abuse their size to create a monopoly on its products. In January 2024, Apple broke the good news that it was making its App Store more like Android’s to fit with the new DMA laws, but after some analysis, it turns out that Apple’s new rules were actually disrespectful to developers.

With all major tech companies coming under scrutiny with the DMA, it’s going to be a rough time for large companies to fit their existing architecture to what the EU asks of them. And any beneficial EU-only changes made risks riling up the US fanbase, who realise that the main reason they’re not getting the same treatment is that companies aren’t forced to give them what they want. As such, we’ll have to see how the big tech companies look after the big DMA shake-up, and which companies will bend to pressure from their home country to apply the same rules there.


Related posts