Apple's iOS 17.4 will disable web apps in the EU and that could spell trouble for the company

Apple's iOS 17.4 will disable web apps in the EU and that could spell trouble for the company as the European Commission begins to investigate.

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When Apple releases the iOS 17.4 software update to the public within the next couple of weeks it will bring with it a number of changes aimed squarely at the EU. Support for third-party app stores and third-party browser engines are at the top of the list of changes, but it will also see Apple ditch support for progressive web apps, or PWAs, in the territory as well. And that's a move that could see the company get into trouble.

PWAs are websites that, when added to the iPhone's Home Screen, act as if they were real apps and launch in a window rather than within a web browser. However, iOS 17.4's beta has already removed support for PWAs in the EU with Apple warning that it has to do that to prevent security and privacy issues arising from the use of web apps that aren't locked within WebKit's walled garden. However, the move will prevent some web apps from working and break others in ways that we might not even know about yet, and it could be enough to get Apple another fine from the European Commission.

Apple's iOS 17.4 will disable web apps in the EU and that could spell trouble for the company 01

According to a new Financial Times report Apple is already being looked at by the EC with the commission having reached out to developers to try and figure out the impact the change will have on them and users alike.

Apple's iOS 17.4 software update is set to be released before the March 6 deadline that the Digital Markets Act has set for third-party app store support and more, but it's unlikely any new investigation into PWAs will happen before then which means users in the EU will have to cross their fingers and hope the loss of web apps doesn't impact them too greatly.

Beyond iOS 17.4, Apple is expected to announce the iOS 18 software update during an event in June. If that's the case the update will likely be made available almost immediately as a developer beta before later being made available to public beta testers. That program will then likely run for months before the final iOS 18 software update is rolled out to the world in or around the middle of September. That'll also likely coincide with the release of the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max devices.

It isn't yet known what iOS 18 will offer, but it's thought that AI could feature heavily in any new features.

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NEWS SOURCES:apple.com, ft.com

Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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