Apple to let developers distribute apps directly from their sites

By Thomson Reuters Mar 12, 2024 | 7:02 AM

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Software developers who use Apple’s App Store will be able to distribute apps to EU users directly from their websites this spring, the company said on Tuesday, as part of changes required by new EU rules forcing Apple to open up its closed eco-system.

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which kicked in last week, requires Apple to offer alternative app stores on iPhones and to allow developers to opt out of using its in-app payment system, which charges fees of up to 30%.

“We’re providing more flexibility for developers who distribute apps in the European Union, including introducing a new way to distribute apps directly from a developer’s website,” Apple said in a blogpost.

“Apple will provide authorised developers access to APIs (application programming interfaces) that facilitate the distribution of their apps from the web, integrate with system functionality, back up and restore users’ apps, and more,” the company said.

Other changes include allowing developers who set up alternative app marketplaces to offer a catalogue solely made up of the marketplace developer’s own apps with immediate effect.

Developers can choose how to design in-app promotions, discounts and other deals when directing users to complete a transaction on their website instead of using Apple’s template.

Apple’s changes come amid continuing criticism from rivals that its compliance efforts are falling short. DMA violations can cost companies fines as much as 10% of their global turnover.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter)