April 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Apple is officially dropping support for iPhone web apps in the European Union

Apple is officially dropping support for iPhone web apps in the European Union

Apple says in its post that web apps are built “directly on WebKit” — the engine that Safari uses — allowing web apps to “align with the security and privacy model of native apps on iOS.” With the change to iOS 17.4, websites added to the Home screen now only work as Bookmarks that open a new tab in your browser, rather than (potentially) standalone services capable of doing things like sending notifications and showing badges, a feature Apple just added to web apps last year.

Progressive Web Apps on iOS are also able to store data separately from your browser instance, which is useful if there's a site you want to access quickly and don't want to keep logged in. Some services, like Facebook Gaming, use web apps as a way to get around Apple's App Store and its fees.

Now that alternative browser engines have been rolled out in the EU, Apple claims this poses a security risk, noting that “malicious web apps can read data from other web apps and reclaim their permissions to access a user's camera, microphone, or location without needing to.” . User consent.” It also says that browsers can install web apps without the user's knowledge, although Android phones have offered web apps with different types of browsers for years.

“We expect this change to affect a small number of users,” Apple wrote. “However, we regret any impact this change – made as part of the work to comply with the DMA – may have on home screen web app developers and our users.” Apple cites “very low user adoption” of Home screen apps as another reason for the lack of support.

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