Apple grants EU developers web distribution and alternative marketplaces freedom

Apple recently rolled out significant changes for developers operating in the European Union (EU), providing them with more options and flexibility. These changes include the ability to distribute iOS apps directly from websites, design in-app promotions, and access alternative app marketplaces.

Apple EU browser

Apple embraces web installs, in-app freedom, and third-party marketplaces (only in the EU)

Web distribution for iOS apps

The most notable change is the tech giant’s decision to allow authorized developers to distribute their iOS apps directly from their websites to EU users. This move, set to roll out with a software update later this spring, marks a departure from Apple’s traditional App Store distribution model.

apple app store

To qualify for web distribution, developers must meet specific criteria, including being enrolled in the Apple Developer Program for at least two continuous years, having over one million first annual installs on iOS in the EU in the prior year, and adhering to ongoing requirements such as transparent data collection policies and responsiveness to Apple’s communications regarding app safety and legality.

This web distribution model aims to give developers more autonomy while maintaining Apple’s strict standards for app security and user privacy. Users will have to approve developers to install apps from their websites, ensuring a controlled and secure app installation process.

Designing in-app promotions

Apple is also giving developers the freedom to design their in-app promotions, discounts, and deals when directing users to complete transactions on external websites. While Apple provides design templates for these links, developers now have the option to customize their promotions according to their branding and marketing strategies.
This flexibility empowers developers to create compelling offers and enhance the user experience during in-app transactions, contributing to improved customer engagement and satisfaction.

Alternative app marketplaces

In line with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the Cupertino tech giant has enabled alternative app marketplaces in the EU. These marketplaces can now offer a catalog of apps exclusively from their own developers, providing users with more choices beyond the traditional App Store ecosystem.

However, it’s worth noting that these changes come with certain conditions and fees. Developers must pay a Core Technology Fee for app installations exceeding one million annual installs, and they must comply with Apple’s guidelines and standards for app distribution and monetization.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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