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Apple iOS 17.4 to bring more independence to web browsers in EU

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Last updated: February 1st, 2024 at 04:28 UTC+01:00

To comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Union (EU), Apple is making many changes to its products and services, including iOS, Safari for iOS, and the App Store, for the region. As a part of it, the company will not force developers to use WebKit as the browser engine for their web browsers starting with iOS 17.4. In other words, it will allow developers to use alternative browser engines for their web browsers with iOS 17.4.

Many companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, use their own browser engines for their web browsers on Android, Windows, and other operating systems. For example, Google uses the Blink browser engine, which is part of the Chromium project, for Google Chrome. Microsoft uses the same browser engine as Google Chrome for Microsoft Edge. Mozilla, on the other hand, uses the Gecko browser engine for Mozilla Firefox.

Apple forces developers to use WebKit for web browsers on iOS

On iOS, however, these companies don’t use their own browser engines for their web browsers as Apple forces them to use WebKit, which also underpins Safari. Fortunately, That won’t be the case starting with iOS 17.4. These companies would be able to use their own browser engines for their web browsers on iOS with the next version of the OS. The latest change also applies to in-app web browsers (web browsers within an app).

It would enable them to offer the same features in their web browsers for iOS that they offer in their web browsers for other platforms. It would also enable the extensions for their web browsers on other platforms to work with their web browser on iOS. However, this change will only be limited to the EU. That means, in other regions, Apple will continue to force developers to use WebKit as the browser engine for their web browsers.

The language that Apple has used in the post announcing the changes strongly suggests that the company isn't happy with the EU forcing it to do things a certain way. Some would say that Apple is now getting the taste of its own medicine. The company also recently announced that it would allow third-party game streaming applications on the App Store.

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