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Apple’s Latest Updates: Web Distribution and App Store Changes for Developers in the EU

Days after Apple initiated allowing iOS users in the EU to utilize third-party app vendors, the corporation declared more modifications regarding how developers can disseminate their applications. Most notably, those who meet specific criteria will have the ability to enable users to acquire applications from their websites.

The Web Distribution choice, which will be accessible this spring, will essentially enable developers to circumvent the app ecosystem completely for their applications. To be qualified, developers will need to agree to new App Store regulations that require them to remit a fee for each user installation beyond certain thresholds and be a member of the Apple Developer Program that has maintained good standing for at least two years. They’ll need to “have an application that had over one million inaugural installations on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year” among other prerequisites, according to a support document.

By implementing specific regulations for facilitating downloads from the web, Apple will aim to reduce the likelihood of users installing dubious applications, such as those containing malicious software or those that facilitate copyright infringement. Nonetheless, given the critique directed at the corporation for apparently adhering solely to the rhetoric of the EU’s Digital Markets Act and not its essence, the fact that the corporation is exerting authority over application downloads from the web may also face scrutiny.

Moreover, as 9to5Mac points out, Apple now permits developers to operate application marketplaces that exclusively feature their applications. Previously, they were mandated to provide applications from other developers. Consequently, this implies that entities like Epic Games, Xbox, and Meta can establish iOS application marketplaces that solely comprise their applications and games.

Apple's Latest Updates: Web Distribution and App Store Changes for Developers in the EU
(Image Credit: Apple)

Lastly, developers will enjoy greater flexibility in directing users to an external webpage to finalize a transaction for digital commodities and services. Apple had furnished design templates for in-application promotions, discounts, and deals, but those are now discretionary as of today. This implies that entities like Spotify and Netflix can now devise links leading to their websites (and potentially circumvent the 30 percent commission Apple charges for subscriptions from app-based registrations).

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