Additional EU Compliant Changes in iOS

Additional EU Compliant Changes in iOS

Today we’re taking a look at two big updates for Apple users in the EU. First up, with the new iOS 17.5, you likely will be able to download apps right from the web, no App Store needed. And there’s the talk about letting you delete the Photos app from your iPhone, a move that could lead to big changes in iOS itself. So, let’s get into what’s happening and what it means for you.

Direct App Downloads in the EU in iOS 17.5

iOS 17.5 introduces a significant change for iPhone users in the EU: the ability to download apps directly from developers’ websites. This update is a response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, aimed at increasing competition and consumer choice. However, only developers with a two-year history in the Apple Developer Program and significant app installations in the EU can use this feature – it is done to prevent developers with malicious intent from abusing this change.

This change in iOS 17.5 could significantly impact the app market. Beyond just offering more choice to users, it might prompt developers to rethink how they design and market their apps, knowing they can reach users directly without going through the App Store. This could also lead to a more diverse app ecosystem and possibly even new types of apps that wouldn’t fit into the App Store’s guidelines.

Potential Changes to iPhone’s Photos App

There’s talk in the EU about making Apple let iPhone users delete the pre-installed Photos app.

John Gruber from Daring Fireball noted that Margrethe Vestager (European Commissioner for Competition) said the following :

“Under Article 6(3) of the DMA, gatekeepers have an obligation to enable easy uninstallation of apps and easy change of default settings. They must also display a choice screen. Apple’s compliance model does not seem to meet the objectives of this obligation […]

Apple also failed to make several apps un-installable (one of them would be Photos).”

This is a big deal because it’s one of those core apps that’s always been untouchable. If this goes through, it could cause huge changes in iOS itself, as “Photos is not just an app on iOS; it’s the system-level interface to the camera roll. This is integrated throughout the entire iOS system, with per-app permission prompts to grant differing levels of access to your photos.

Vestager is saying that to be compliant with the DMA, Apple needs to allow third-party apps to serve as the system-level image library and camera roll. That is a monumental demand, and I honestly don’t even know how such a demand could be squared with system-wide permissions for photo access.”

The push by the EU for tech companies to offer more flexibility, like allowing the deletion of pre-installed apps, raises questions about whether the regulations might be too demanding. This approach aims to increase user choice and competition but could lead to significant changes in how operating systems are designed and function.

Wrapping up

As we wrap up, it’s obvious that these updates will bring interesting times for both developers and users, as it’s clear that Apple is not giving up on the EU market. We will keep an eye on how these changes unfold and will be there to tell you all about it.

Jeff Cochin has more than ten years of experience in data recovery, management and warehousing. On Macgasm he mostly writes about Apple news and software reviews. Jeff's journey with Macbooks began in 2008, showcasing his enduring commitment to the Apple… Full Bio