EU App Store Shake-Up: Apple Opens Doors for Direct App Downloads from Developers’ Websites

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To comply with the strict guidelines outlined by the Digital Markets Act (DMA) of the European Union, Apple has released several further changes to its App Store ecosystem in the EU. These changes came soon after the initial iOS 17.4 release, which brought about several significant changes, such as support for alternate app stores and more developer options for business models.

EU App Store Overhaul: Apple Enables Direct App Downloads from Developers’ Websites

Among the most noteworthy additions to date is the “Web Distribution” feature, which will be available later in the spring. With this breakthrough, developers will have the ability to distribute their iOS apps directly from their websites, thereby avoiding the App Store entirely.

Important Elements of Web Distribution:

  • Eligibility Criteria: Developers must be enrolled in the Apple Developer Program under an EU-registered entity and have a two-year history of good standing within the program to be eligible. Developers also need to have managed an EU application that had more than a million first-year installations the year before. Adherence to specified conditions, which include the sole provision of in-house developed apps, open data policies, and compliance with relevant laws, is also required.
  • Functionality Features: Developers who take part will have access to a set of APIs that make it easier to distribute apps, integrate systems, and back up and restore user apps. Apps can only be installed from registered website domains and must follow Apple’s notarization guidelines. Users will need to give permission explicitly in order to install the app from the developer’s website in their iPhone settings. A pop-up window that appears on the screen during the installation process will provide users with relevant app information.
  • Revenue Model: If a developer’s app receives more than one million installs annually, they will be charged a Core Technology Fee of €0.50 per install.

Apple places a great deal of emphasis on security and user experience when it comes to web app distribution, and developers are responsible for managing several different aspects such as app updates, customer support, and refunds. A rigorous screening procedure has been implemented to guarantee that developers fulfill strict requirements and pledge to fulfill ongoing responsibilities to protect user security and privacy.

Apple has added even more flexibility for developers in terms of integrating external web links for the purchase of digital goods and services. Developers are now free to create discounts, promos, and other incentives without being limited by Apple’s pre-made designs. Apple has not yet provided specific explanations in response to relevant questions posed by stakeholders, specifically regarding the possible exclusion of free and open-source applications from Web Distribution because of the associated cost structure.


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