Apple today announced three further changes for developers in the European Union, allowing them to distribute apps directly from webpages, choose how to design in-app promotions, and more.

Apple EU iOS Changes

Apple last week enabled alternative app stores in the EU in iOS 17.4, allowing third-party app stores to offer a catalog of other developers’ apps as well as the marketplace developer’s own apps. As of today, Apple is allowing third-party app stores to offer apps solely from their own catalog. For example, a games studio could create an app store on iOS that exclusively offers their own games.

When directing users to complete a transaction on their website, developers can also now choose how to design their in-app promotions, discounts, and deals. Apple’s templates for designing these links out to websites are optional as of today.

In addition, developers will soon be able to distribute apps directly from their websites, providing they meet Apple’s specific criteria, such as being a member of the Apple Developer Program for two continuous years or more and having an app with more than one million first installs on iOS in the EU in the prior year, and commit to ongoing requirements, such as publishing transparent data collection policies. Apps distributed in this way must meet Apple’s notarization requirements like all other iOS apps and can only be installed from a web domain registered in App Store Connect.

Authorized developers will gain access to APIs to facilitate app distribution from the web, integration with system functionality, back up and restore, and more. Web distribution will become available following a software update later in the spring – allowing app downloads directly from a website for the first time on iOS.

The latest changes are part of Apple’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) compliance plan and only apply within the European Union.

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