Apple giveth and Apple taketh away

Joel Oliveira
Joel Oliveira
Feb 16 2024
Posted in Announcements & Events

It is confirmed, Apple will kill PWA's in EU

Apple giveth and Apple taketh away

Not long ago we were praising Apple for joining the crowd. With the release of iOS 16.4, progressive web apps (PWA) could be added to the Home Screen and take advantage of features like Web Push notifications, pretty much like any web app running on others browsers.

Just like many other developers in the EU, while testing the new iOS 17.4 beta, some of our engineers noticed that web apps could not be added to the Home Screen and features like Web Push no longer worked. And just like that, in the upcoming release of iOS 17.4, Apple is removing that feature altogether for users in the EU.


Apple's decision stems from the enforcement of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new EU regulation compelling companies like Apple to dismantle the barriers around their core platforms to foster competition.

If you are not aware, Apple recently announced a comprehensive update on how complying to these new regulations would affect users in the European Union. One of these changes is the complete removal of Home Screen apps for EU users. You can read their full statement in this page, under the section "Why don't users in the EU have access to Home Screen web apps?".

Despite its commitment to PWAs in iOS via WebKit, Apple finds itself constrained by the DMA's mandates. The regulation demands the accommodation of home screen web apps constructed on alternative browsers, bypassing Safari and WebKit altogether.

Apple laments the potential risks of this approach, citing concerns over the proliferation of malicious web apps accessing users' devices. Consequently, the company has reluctantly chosen to eliminate PWA support altogether.

Apple asserts that the elimination of PWAs will impact only a minority of users (would be great to see this statement backed by numbers), implying that the broader user base will remain unaffected. Those affected are assured the option to access web apps through their respective websites using mobile web browsers, albeit without the added convenience and integration offered by PWAs.

Sad news for European users

Although it is not clear if this is a temporary roadblock or a more permanent one, it will in fact affect brands that just recently invested on making their web apps, iOS compatible.

At Notificare, we will still provide support for Safari in iOS via our Web SDK, but unfortunately our customers will not be able to offer all its capabilities to European users.

As always, we are available via our Support Channel for any question you might have.

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