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Apple drops PWA support on iOS for EU users

With the release of iOS version 17.4, Apple has decided to discontinue support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for users in the European Union

Current Situation

In order to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple has chosen to remove support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on iOS within the EU.

This discovery was first brought to light by security researchers at Mysk, who noticed that the beta version of iOS 17.4 for the European Union (EU) no longer supports PWAs.

After initially remaining silent about these findings, about a week ago, Apple issued a statement regarding all the upcoming changes to comply with the DMA, including the PWA issue. You can find it in the “Developer Q&A” section under “Why don’t users in the EU have access to Home Screen web apps?”

The crux of the matter revolves around Apple’s obligation to allow third-party browsers to use their rendering engines on iOS. Apple argues that web apps, being based on WebKit (the rendering engine of Safari), can conform to the security and privacy standards of iOS native applications.

Please note this change applies only within EU countries and on iOS, NOT iPadOS.

It is expected that these changes will take effect starting Thursday, March 7, 2024,

when Apple will distribute iOS version 17.4.

Impact on Neptune DXP-based Apps

Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are one of the means used to develop mobile applications on Neptune DXP. The significant advantage of PWAs lies in their ability not to be installed on the device. Technically, a bookmark with an icon is created on the Home screen.

This way, the app can be distributed without the need to publish it on the App Store. Although PWA support on iOS has never been perfect, accessing the camera, fingerprint, and various sensors of the iPhone in a PWA has never been a problem. Additionally, PWAs also support offline functionality.

Those who have developed a PWA on Neptune DXP to be used on an iPhone within the EU, following the release of version 17.4, will observe profound changes in the display and functionality of their applications. Depending on the features used, there is a risk that these apps may even cease to function entirely after the update.

Do you want to keep enjoying a high-performance User Experience of your PWAs developed on Neptune Software for iOS devices?