Apple allowed installing programs from third-party marketplaces in EC

Apple allowed installing programs from third-party marketplaces in EC

It came true! Apple allowed the installation of applications from third-party marketplaces, but only in EC. The new features will be available to users in 27 EU countries already in March, starting with version iOS 17.4.

Apple’s decision is a consequence of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). It requires IT companies to open their platforms to third-party companies and developers. Fines of up to 20% of the company’s annual turnover are provided for non-compliance with the law.

The changes apply to iOS, Safari, and the App Store. These include more than 600 new APIs, advanced app analytics, alternative browser engine features, in-app payment processing options, and iOS app distribution. Apple is also introducing a series of improvements to the App Store, increasing transparency and security for users. You can read the full text in the Apple Developer Support section.

Brief summary:

  • iOS apps can now be distributed outside of the App Store.

  • A new platform for creating App Store analogs has appeared.

  • Apple is introducing additional fraud protections.

  • Apple reduces fees for alternative payment methods by 10-17%.

  • Developers of iPad iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS apps will be able to receive a 3% discount from Apple’s commission for processing payments using PSP (Payment Service Providers) or linking to the PSP website.

  • If the download threshold exceeds one million, you have to pay 0.5 EUR for each new installation.

What’s new in iOS

  • iOS apps can now be distributed outside of the App Store. Apple has released new APIs and tools that allow developers to publish their iOS apps to third-party marketplaces.

  • A new platform and API for creating alternative application marketplaces has appeared. The platform allows third-party marketplace developers to install and update apps from third-party marketplaces.

  • There are new frameworks and APIs for alternative browser engines. They allow developers to use browser engines other than WebKit for browser and in-app applications.

  • Developers can submit additional requests for app compatibility with iPhone and iOS hardware and software features via the compatibility request form.

  • Apple is introducing new APIs that allow developers to use NFC technology. Users can choose a different app for contactless payments or an alternative default app.

  • Apple introduces notarization for iOS. This is a basic check that applies to all programs regardless of their distribution channel. Its purpose is to preserve the integrity of the platform and protect users. Notarization involves a combination of automated and human verification.

  • Instruction letters appeared in the applications. They contain information from notarization. Installation letters are brief descriptions of applications and their functionality before download, including developer information, screenshots, and other important information.

  • Developers of third-party marketplaces will be required to undergo authorization and adhere to requirements that protect both users and developers.

  • Apple is introducing additional protections against malware. They prevent iOS apps from running if they are found to contain malware after being installed on a device.

Some features of the App Store are not compatible with applications downloaded from outside. For example, family access and purchase request.

What’s new in Safari

Currently, iOS users can set any web browser as the default anyway. But now Apple has introduced a selection screen. It appears when you first open Safari in iOS 17.4 or later. On this screen, EU users will be able to select their default browser from a list of options.

Changes in the App Store

  • Apple allows payment service providers (PSPs). Developers can now integrate external payment processing systems into their applications and offer users additional ways to purchase digital goods and services.

  • There are new options for processing payments by link. They allow users to buy from external websites. Developers can also now inform their customers about special offers and discounts available outside of their apps.

  • Apple introduces business planning tools. They will help developers in evaluating commissions and analyzing indicators related to Apple’s new business conditions in the EU.

  • Apple introduced intuitive shortcuts on App Store product pages. These shortcuts are a kind of beacon that warns users that the application offers payment processing methods different from Apple’s standard solutions.

  • In-app disclosure letters let users know when they are no longer transacting with Apple and when the developer directs them to transact using an alternative payment process.

  • New types of program verification have appeared. They help monitor that developers are accurately reporting transactions that use alternative payment systems.

  • Apple has expanded data portability in the Data & Privacy section of its website. EU users can now receive new App Store usage data and export it to a third party.

It is also worth noting:

  • Apple will not be able to issue refunds for programs with alternative payment processing.

  • A number of App Store features will also not reflect these transactions. For example, Report a problem, Family access, and Ask to buy.

  • Users will have to share payment information with third parties. Fraudsters and criminals can exploit this.

  • User purchase history and App Store subscription management will only reflect transactions using the App Store purchase system.

New business conditions for applications to the EU

To use alternative payment processing or distribute iOS apps on third-party marketplaces, developers must accept the new app business terms. But they can stay within Apple’s existing terms.

  • iOS apps in the App Store will pay a reduced fee. For the vast majority of developers and subscriptions, it will be 10% after the first year of use. And for transactions with digital goods and services — 17%.

  • iOS App Store apps may use the App Store payment processing system for an additional 3% fee. Developers can use a payment service provider in their app or link users to their website to process payments at no extra charge to Apple.

  • Developers of iOS apps distributed from the App Store and alternative app stores will pay €0.50 for each first annual install above the million threshold.

  • iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS app developers who will process payments with PSP or link to their website will receive a 3% discount on Apple’s commission.

Apple’s move is generally pleasing. This is a major shift in Apple’s monopolization. Let’s hope that soon Apple will allow installing applications from third-party marketplaces and other countries.

The original article

Related posts