Apple Introduces Web Distribution For iOS Apps In EU

Apple Introduces Web Distribution For iOS Apps In EU

Apple is set to revolutionize the way iOS apps are distributed in the European Union with its latest announcement. The tech giant plans to enable certain developers to offer their iOS apps directly from their websites, bypassing the traditional app store model. This move is expected to roll out with an upcoming software update this spring.

According to Apple, this new web distribution feature will give developers an alternative to distribute their apps in EU markets, eliminating the necessity for a separate app store. However, developers must comply with Apple’s stringent rules and regulations to utilize this new method.

Despite the expansion of third-party apps on iOS, stringent security measures remain in place to safeguard users. Apps distributed via web distribution must meet rigorous Notarization requirements, ensuring platform integrity. Furthermore, these apps can only be installed from a website domain registered by the developer in the App Store Connect platform.

Installing apps from a developer’s website will not be a straightforward process for users in the EU. Apple states that users must first authorize developers to install apps in their iPhone settings. Additionally, detailed information about the app, including its developer details, name, age rating, description, and screenshots, will be displayed during the installation process.

While this presents a new avenue for developers, Apple emphasizes that authorization will be granted only to those who meet specific criteria and adhere to the requirements aimed at protecting users. Developers must be enrolled in Apple’s Developer Program and registered in the EU. They must also agree to various undertakings outlined by Apple, including transparent data collection policies.

However, this new distribution method comes with challenges for developers. Apple’s requirement of a good-standing developer account for at least two years and a minimum of one million annual installs in the EU may limit access, potentially excluding smaller developers from utilizing this approach.

Furthermore, Apple imposes a Core Technology Fee for apps with more than one million annual updates or installs, except for certain entities such as educational institutions or nonprofit organizations.

In addition to this groundbreaking change, Apple is also relaxing its strict rules concerning developers’ links to external web pages for completing digital goods purchases. Developers now have the flexibility to choose their design templates, giving them greater autonomy in promoting deals and discounts.

This announcement by Apple marks a pivotal moment in the app distribution landscape in the EU, promising increased flexibility for developers.


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