Apple walks back decision to disable home screen web apps in the EU

Following the release of the second beta version of iOS 17.4, it emerged that Apple had restricted the functionality of iOS web apps in the EU. Web apps could no longer launch from the ‌Home Screen‌ in their own top-level window that takes up the entire screen, relegating them to a simple shortcut with an option to open within Safari instead.

The move was heavily criticized by groups like Open Web Advocacy, which started a petition in an effort to persuade Apple to reverse the change, and it even caught the attention of the European Commission. Now, Apple has backtracked and says that ‌Home Screen‌ web apps that use WebKit in the EU will continue to function as expected upon the release of iOS 17.4.

↫ Hartley Charlton at MacRumors

A welcome move, but they will still be restricted to opening using WebKit instead of any other engine Europeans will be allowed to install. With criticism of Apple’s DMA plans mounting, and pressure on the European Commission to not approve Apple’s plans increasing, all of this might change over the coming months, still.


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