Apple reverses its decision to remove PWA support in the EU

Yevhenii Smirnov
Yevhenii Smirnov
Mar 8 2024
Posted in Announcements & Events

Looks like Home Screen web apps in iOS are here to stay after all.

Apple reverses its decision to remove PWA support in the EU

In a recent turn of events, Apple has announced an update reversing their decision to remove Home Screen web apps, also known as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), in the European Union. This decision comes in response to feedback from users and the development community, requesting continued support. As a result, Apple has decided to reverse its earlier plans.

Initially, Apple had announced its decision to discontinue the Home Screen web apps feature in the EU as a measure to adhere to the Digital Markets Act (DMA). This decision was driven by the intricate security and privacy concerns associated with web apps and the need to align with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) requirements.

In other words, Apple is required to support third-party browser engines but didn't want PWAs to use those non-WebKit engines, and so they decided to remove support for Home Screen web apps. However, following extensive deliberation and feedback, Apple has decided to retain the existing Home Screen web apps capability in the EU.

This ensures users will retain access to Home Screen web apps, which are constructed on WebKit's secure architecture. By aligning with iOS's security and privacy standards for native apps, Apple aims to safeguard user data and interactions.

Developers and users affected by the initial removal of Home Screen web apps in the EU 17.4 beta release of iOS can expect the return of the existing functionality in the upcoming iOS 17.4 update in early March.

Is this the end?

It's likely and hopefully that we'll see more updates in the near future, as Home Screen web apps are currently limited to using Safari's WebKit engine. The ongoing battle to enable other browsers to compete fairly on iOS, including in powering web apps, remains unresolved.

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