Major Updates to Apple's App Ecosystem, Default Browsers and NFC Payments Methods in the EU

Apple shakes up its App Store in the EU with alternative marketplaces, reduced commissions, and user choice.

Major Updates to Apple's App Ecosystem, Default Browsers and NFC Payments Methods in the EU
Image: PhoneArena

Following the Digital Markets Act in the EU, Apple announces significant changes to its app ecosystem, a default browsers choice and NFC payments method choice, impacting both developers and users, after updating to iOS 17.4.

Key updates include:

  • Alternative app marketplaces: Developers can now create and distribute apps through alternative app stores on iOS devices. Apple is providing APIs and tools to facilitate this process.
  • Notarization process: Apps installed through alternative marketplaces will undergo a mandatory security check, similar to Mac apps, to ensure safety and compliance with platform policies.
  • Reduced commissions: Apple's App Store commission drops from 30% to 17%, and further to 10% for subscriptions and small businesses. Developers can choose between these revised terms and the existing App Store model.
  • Core Technology Fee: A €0.50 annual fee per app install per account applies to developers who opt for the new terms, acknowledging the value provided by Apple's tools and platform.
  • Alternative payment systems: Developers can integrate alternative payment processors within their apps, offering users greater choice and potentially lower costs.
  • Optional Payment Processing Fee: Developers using Apple's built-in payment system can opt for a 3% processing fee.
  • Default browser choice: Users gain the ability to set a default browser . Apple will provide a list of popular browsers for selection.
    Apple is also allowing alternative browser engines, and will not limit browsers like Chrome to the WebKit engine.
Image: Itc
  • NFC payment method choice: Developers in the EU gain access to NFC technology for contactless payments.
  • Global App Store updates: The App Store's iCloud gaming rules are being relaxed, making it easier for users to download and enjoy games. Additionally, developers worldwide receive access to expanded analytics with over 50 new reports for enhanced app performance insights.

These changes reflect Apple's adaptation to the evolving regulatory landscape in the EU while aiming to maintain a secure and user-friendly app ecosystem. Both developers and users can expect new opportunities and choices in the coming months.