Apple announces ability to download iPhone apps from websites in EU

Apple expands app store options in the EU, allowing developers more control over in-app promotions and distribution. Web app distribution coming later this spring for qualified developers meeting specific criteria.

Apple announces ability to download iPhone apps from websites in EU
Image: Macrumors

Apple announced further advancements for developers within the European Union (EU) in accordance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These changes empower developers with greater flexibility in app distribution and user interaction.

Expanded App Store Options

Following the introduction of alternative app stores in iOS 17.4, Apple now allows third-party app stores to offer applications solely from their own catalogs. This enables entities like a game studio to create an app store on iOS featuring exclusively their own developed games.

Increased Control over In-App Promotions

Developers now have greater control over the design of in-app promotions, discounts, and deals when directing users to complete transactions on their website. Apple's previously mandated templates for designing these links are no longer mandatory.

Upcoming Web App Distribution

Soon, developers meeting specific criteria will be authorized to distribute apps directly from their websites. This includes membership in the Apple Developer Program for a minimum of two consecutive years, an app with over one million first installs on iOS in the EU during the preceding year, and a commitment to ongoing requirements like publishing transparent data collection policies. Apps distributed through this method must adhere to Apple's notarization requirements and can only be installed from a web domain registered in App Store Connect. Authorized developers will receive access to APIs facilitating app distribution from the web, integration with system functionality, backup and restore capabilities, and more. Web app distribution will be available following a software update later in the spring.

These enhancements are exclusive to the EU and represent Apple's ongoing commitment to complying with the DMA.