Apple to Let EU iPhone Users Delete Safari and More Easily Transition to Android

Juli Clover


Apple to Let EU iPhone Users Delete Safari and More Easily Transition to Android

In addition to adding support for alternative app marketplaces and alternative payment methods in the European Union, Apple is making several other changes to comply with the terms of the Digital Markets Act. Apple today outlined some of its upcoming plans in a DMA Compliance Report [PDF].

Apple is going to make it easier for iPhone users to switch over to another operating system in the European Union. Apple says it is working on a solution that will help mobile operating system providers create "more user-friendly solutions" for transferring data from an ‌iPhone‌ to a non-Apple phone. The solution will be available by fall 2025, after which point companies like Samsung and Google will be able to offer better tools for transferring data from an ‌iPhone‌.

EU ‌iPhone‌ users will be able to remove Safari from their devices entirely starting at the end of 2024, with an alternate browser able to take the place of Safari. As part of this plan, Apple is developing a browser switching solution for exporting and importing browser data into another browser on the same device. Apple has already began supporting alternative web browser engines, another DMA requirement.

To improve interoperability between ‌iPhone‌ and other smartphone platforms, Apple is allowing third-party payment apps to access the ‌iPhone‌'s NFC chip for contactless payments that are not done through Apple Pay, plus it is allowing developers to submit requests for additional interoperability.

Interoperability requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they are under the scope of the DMA, and if an effective interoperability solution can be developed.

Developers in the EU are able to request additional mediation that goes beyond the standard App Review Board evaluation. Developers who want to contest unsuccessful appeals to the App Review Board can request mediation, a process that Apple says is "EU-based, easily accessible, impartial, independent, and free-of-charge."

All of these changes are limited to developers and users in the European Union as they are required by the Digital Markets Act.

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