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Apple will allow iOS apps to be distributed on websites in the EU

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Days after Apple started , the company has announced more changes related to how developers can distribute their apps. Most significantly, those who meet certain criteria will be able to let users download apps from their websites.

The , which will be available this spring, will effectively let developers bypass the app ecosystem entirely for their own apps. To be eligible, devs will need to opt in to that see them pay a fee for each user install after certain thresholds and be an Apple Developer Program member that’s been in good standing for at least two years. They’ll need to “have an app that had more than one million first annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior calendar year” among other criteria, per a support document.

By setting certain rules for supporting downloads from the web, Apple will be hoping to minimize the risk that users will be installing sketchy apps, such as ones containing malware or those that support piracy. Still, given levied against the company for seemingly only sticking to the letter of the EU’s Digital Markets Act and not its spirit, the fact that the company is exerting control over app downloads from the web may come under scrutiny too.

In addition, as notes, Apple is to run app marketplaces that solely contain their own apps. Previously, they were required to offer apps from other devs. As such, this means the likes of , and Meta can have iOS app marketplaces that only include their own apps and games.

Last but not least, developers will have more flexibility over how they can direct users to an external webpage to complete a transaction for digital goods and services. Apple had provided design templates for in-app promotions, discounts and deals, but those are now optional as of today. That means the likes of Spotify and Netflix can now design links out to their websites (and potentially avoid the 30 percent cut Apple takes of subscriptions from app-based signups).

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