With the second beta of iOS 17.4, Apple disabled much of the functionality of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in the European Union. There was some speculation that it could be a temporary change or a bug related to some of the updates to the app ecosystem in Europe, but Apple has confirmed that PWAs were intentionally removed and won’t be returning.
↫ Juli Clover at MacRumors
When users in the European Union install iOS 17.4, all functionality regarding progressive web apps will be removed from iOS. This means that when you pin a PWA on your iOS home screen, instead of it opening ‘like an application’, so without any browser chrome but with additional other odds and ends to make it feel more like a native application, it’ll just open inside the full browser instead.
It’s typical Apple behaviour – vindictive and petty. Their stated reasoning – it was too hard and too much work to implement this for engines other than WebKit – is a bunch of utter nonsense, since Apple had no issues with developing like 600 new APIs and a whole bunch of new complex frameworks and administrative layers just to support their malicious DMA compliance to ensure they wouldn’t lose a single cent of protection money when a developer wants to distribute an application outside of the App Store. PWAs were the only way you could get an application-like experience on your iPhone from something not controlled, owned, and monetised by Apple, so it had to go to force developers to choose either of Apple’s new, maliciously DMA compliant monetised distribution options in the EU.
Every time this company does anything, it’s just… Slimy, scummy, sleazy, and anti-user.