Apple admits that it has removed PWA support from iOS, in response to the Digital Markets Act, impact is limited to users in the EU

In iOS, you can add websites to your iPhone's home screen and receive notifications by using a technology called '

Progressive Web Apps ' (PWA). However, in the beta version of iOS 17.4 , which is scheduled to be officially rolled out in March 2024, it has been found that PWA has been removed for users in the EU. Apple has officially confirmed that it has removed PWAs to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) .

Apple confirms iOS 17.4 removes Home Screen web apps in the EU, here's why - 9to5Mac

Apple confirms it's breaking iPhone web apps in the EU on purpose | TechCrunch

On iOS, you can set icons for websites and arrange them on the home screen to look similar to apps. For websites that support PWA, in addition to displaying icons, you will be able to use native app-like functions such as sending push notifications.

However, it has been revealed that support for PWA has been removed from the beta version of iOS 17.4, which was released in early February 2024. If you try to open the web app from the home screen as usual, you will be given the option to open it in the default browser or cancel it, and it is essentially just a bookmark. In addition, the local storage that was available in the web app is no longer provided, causing data loss issues.

Apple revealed that it is removing support for PWA in beta version of iOS 17.4 - GIGAZINE

Since PWAs were only deleted for users in the EU, multiple overseas media speculated that DMA compliance was the reason. The DMA designates seven major technology companies, including Apple, as 'gatekeepers' for providing core platform services and imposes various regulations to prevent abuse of market power.

After being certified as a DMA gatekeeper, Apple allows side-loading via app stores other than the App Store and payments outside the App Store in the EU. Also, iOS 17.4 allows browser engines other than Webkit, and browser engines such as Chrome's Blink and Firefox's Gecko are technically available.

Apple finally allows full versions of Chrome and Firefox to run on iPhone - GIGAZINE

Until now, Apple had not disclosed whether the removal of PWAs was due to DMA. However, on February 15th, on the developer page for apps distributed in the EU, the company officially acknowledged that it had removed PWAs to comply with EU guidelines.

According to Apple, extending support for PWAs built with Webkit in mind to alternative browser engines requires building an entirely new integration architecture that doesn't currently exist in iOS. However, considering the other requirements of DMA and the small number of users who actually use PWA, it was not realistic to continue supporting PWA in the EU.

Apple said, 'In order to comply with DMA requirements, we had to remove the Home screen web app functionality in the EU. Users in the EU will continue to be able to access the Home screen via Bookmarks with minimal impact to functionality.' 'You can access the website directly from your screen. We expect this change to affect a small number of users.'

in Mobile,   Software, Posted by log1h_ik