Apple this week began implementing its controversial plans to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), allowing developers to now submit alternative app stores and external apps via App Store Connect.
This development comes amid Apple’s efforts to meet the DMA requirements by March 2024. With the deadline looming, Apple is taking proactive steps to enable developers to test their apps and marketplaces ahead of time.
In an update on its developer website, Apple wrote:
“Developers who have agreed to the new business terms can now use new features in App Store Connect and the App Store Connect API to set up marketplace distribution and marketplace apps, and use TestFlight to beta test these features.
TestFlight also supports apps using alternative browser engines, and alternative payments through payment service providers and linking out to a webpage.”
Despite Apple’s known distaste for the DMA requirements, there are over 600 new APIs available to developers to leverage the new App Store abilities.
Notably, apps submitted for testing can leverage features such as alternative browser engines, alternative payment service providers, and external linking, offering users more choices beyond Apple’s ecosystem.
In addition to technical support, Apple is offering online consultations and labs to assist developers in navigating these changes and maximising the potential of the new APIs.
The introduction of alternative app stores marks a pivotal moment in Apple’s relationship with the EU and its regulatory framework. As developers begin to explore these new opportunities, the app ecosystem within the EU is set for radical transformation.
(Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash)
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