All Apple changes in Europe explained for everyone

The arrival of iOS 17.4 represents a radical change in Apple's policies due to the requirements of the European Union. Changes in internet browsers, in the App Store and in how to download applications. We explain everything to you in very simple language.

The person responsible for all these changes is the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new European regulation that forces Apple (and other companies) to make profound changes to their policies to preserve the free market and competition. What are those changes? They affect iOS (and when we say iOS, we mean the iOS on the iPhone, not the iPadOS on the iPad), the App Store, internet browsers, and payment platforms, including Apple Pay.

streaming games

This change affects the entire world, not just Europe. Apple has (finally) allowed there to be applications to use streaming gaming platforms. Until now we could only use these services through Safari, which did not offer an adequate user experience in many cases. Nvidia with GeForce Noe or Microsoft with Xbox Cloud will be able to create their own application of games in the new one to make use of its services. Great news for all gamers with Apple devices.


Internet browsers

We already have multiple browsers on iOS, including all the major ones like Chrome or Firefox, but all browsers are required to use a common engine: WebKit, which is the Safari engine. This means that Chrome on iOS is not really Chrome, rather it is Safari with some aesthetic changes (so we understand each other). Now this will no longer be the case. Developers who want to add a different engine to their browser will be able to do so, although it will not be so simplebecause they will have to first request it from Apple, which will authorize it after checking that it meets a long list of security and privacy requirements.

Additionally, starting with iOS 17.4, when you open Safari for the first time you will be offered the option to choose which internet browser you want to use by default, and You will be offered a list with 12 of the most popular browsers that you can set as predefined. This way all users will know that they can modify this setting and will not use Safari simply because they do not know of the existence of others.

Steps to use Apple Pay

Mobile payments

In Europe there will also be changes in Wallet, Apple's application for payments with the iPhone. Developers will be able to create their own payment applications to store their cards and use them to make contactless payments with their phone. That is to say, Google may offer Google Pay, or your bank may create its own mobile payment application without having to use Apple Pay. This is not going to be either. a procedure as simple as developing an application, because those who want to do so will have to go through a review process by Apple to ensure that they meet demanding security requirements. You can even decide which is your default payment system.

Alternative payments in the App Store

One of the demands that many companies, such as Epic or Spotify, have been making for the longest time. It will no longer be mandatory to pay for purchases within an application using the Apple platform; other payment systems or links to other websites may be used to pay for the purchases we make. If you use an app that has chosen this option and you buy something, a message will appear on the screen in which Apple warns you that it does not control these payments and therefore you will not be able to request a refund to Apple. “Family Sharing” or purchase requests from parents to parents will also not be supported.

Third party app stores

It is perhaps the novelty that has been talked about the most for months, but as you can see, it is not the only one. Starting with iOS 17.4 (not iPadOS), Apple will allow developers to create their own app stores for the iPhone, where users can purchase and download apps from outside of the official Apple store. Nor anyone will be able to create their application store, nor will you be able to install apps from anywhere. Therefore, it is not about “sideloading” of Android, with which you can install any app from any website, far from it. There will be an application review process and important security and privacy requirements.

And not only that, anyone who wants to create their application store will have to have a bank guarantee of one million dollars. It is not that Apple receives that million dollars, it is just “insurance” that Apple requires to guarantee that the application store can respond to any possible legal liability. Additionally, these app stores cannot be used only for apps from the developer who created the must allow other developers to access it to sell their own applications.

app store

Developers who choose to use these third-party app stores will be able to continue selling their app on the App Store, but those who abandon the App Store entirely will not be able to return their apps if they later regret it. Applications sold in these unofficial stores will go through a less demanding review process than those in the App Store, because they will not be able to analyze their content. They will only check that they meet security and privacy requirements, as well as that they do not contain malware, but they cannot be rejected due to the content. Therefore we could see applications that could not be in the App Store as emulators, since the legal person responsible for the content of the applications will be the third-party store, not Apple.

Users will have to use these application stores on their iPhone to be able to download apps from them, and pThey will even be able to choose which app store the iPhone uses by default. They can also withdraw that authorization at any time from the system settings or simply by deleting the store from their phone.