Home News iOS 17.5 Update Enables App Downloads Directly From Websites for EU Users

iOS 17.5 Update Enables App Downloads Directly From Websites for EU Users

iOS 17.5 Update Enables App Downloads Directly From Websites for EU Users

In an unprecedented move, Apple has announced the upcoming iOS 17.5 update for iPhone, which is poised to significantly alter the way users in the European Union (EU) interact with app downloads. For the first time in iOS history, users will be able to directly download apps from the websites of eligible developers, bypassing the traditional route of the App Store. This change, anticipated to be part of the iOS 17.5 update, comes in response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, aiming to offer users more freedom and flexibility in how they obtain apps.

Apple’s decision to open up app distribution channels beyond the App Store to comply with the Digital Markets Act introduces a new “Web Distribution” feature. This feature will be accessible to larger developers based in the EU who meet specific criteria, such as being a member of the Apple Developer Program for at least two continuous years and having apps with over one million annual installs in the EU in the previous year. This move not only reflects Apple’s adaptation to regulatory demands but also signifies a shift towards more open app ecosystems within the EU​​.

Furthermore, Apple has unveiled changes beyond app distribution, including modifications to payment processing and app review processes to ensure transparency and security for users engaging with these new distribution methods. Notably, apps using alternative payment processing methods will be labeled accordingly on the App Store product pages, and users will be informed through in-app disclosure sheets when transactions no longer involve Apple. This effort to maintain transparency and user trust underlines the challenges and complexities of integrating alternative payment and distribution methods while ensuring user safety and compliance with the EU’s regulations​.

These updates are part of Apple’s broader efforts to adapt its services and policies in compliance with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, reflecting a significant shift in the digital landscape. With reduced commission rates and new business terms for developers, Apple aims to balance regulatory compliance with its commitment to offering a secure, reliable platform for both developers and users. The iOS 17.5 update, expected to be released before the end of May 2024, marks a pivotal moment in Apple’s approach to app distribution and payment processing, potentially setting a precedent for future policies and practices in other regions​.



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