Back in mid-February, Apple announced that iOS 17.4 would remove support for progressive web apps in the EU. The company blamed this on the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which goes into effect next week and is the reason why iOS 17.4 will come with support for alternative app stores.

Following a huge amount of online backlash, today Apple has changed its mind and revealed that progressive web apps will still be supported even in iOS 17.4 in the EU. So, like before, you’ll be able to add a progressive web app to your home screen and it will launch in its own top-level window, not being relegated to a simple shortcut opening in Safari.

Apple backtracks, won't remove progressive web apps in the EU after all

In an update posted to its developer website, Apple explains:

Previously, Apple announced plans to remove the Home Screen web apps capability in the EU as part of our efforts to comply with the DMA. The need to remove the capability was informed by the complex security and privacy concerns associated with web apps to support alternative browser engines that would require building a new integration architecture that does not currently exist in iOS.

We have received requests to continue to offer support for Home Screen web apps in iOS, therefore we will continue to offer the existing Home Screen web apps capability in the EU. This support means Home Screen web apps continue to be built directly on WebKit and its security architecture, and align with the security and privacy model for native apps on iOS.

Developers and users who may have been impacted by the removal of Home Screen web apps in the beta release of iOS in the EU can expect the return of the existing functionality for Home Screen web apps with the availability of iOS 17.4 in early March.

Last month, Apple claimed this would only affect a small number of users, but it may have learned in the meantime that those are very vocal about things like this.

So, progressive web apps will still use Apple’s WebKit rendering engine, even if you have picked a default browser that uses its own (support for third party browsers using their own rendering engines is part of the set of measures Apple has to implement in order to comply with the DMA).

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