Apple Reverses Decision on Progressive Web Apps in EU

Apple Reverses Decision on Progressive Web Apps in EU

Apple has reversed its decision to block Home Screen web apps in the EU. The decision came after receiving numerous requests for Progressive Web App (PWA) support, leading to an update on its developer page. Apple will reinstate PWA functionality with the release of iOS 17.4.

Apple's Reversal Decision

Apple reinstates PWA support in iOS 17.4

In February, Apple announced it would remove support for Home Screen web apps in iOS 17.4 within the EU to comply with the Digital Markets Act. The decision sparked backlash and concerns among users, fearing the impact on web-based applications.

PWAs mimic native apps without consuming much phone space. It offers various functionalities, such as notifications and continuous login, without needing App Store distribution.

The change reverses Apple's earlier move to limit PWAs to simple website shortcuts in iOS 17.4's second beta. It was a decision initially driven by security concerns and DMA compliance efforts.

Apple's initial decision to remove Home Screen Web Apps sparked a backlash from developers. The non-profit group Open Web Advocacy spearheaded an open letter. It was addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, calling for a reversal. By Friday, the letter had amassed nearly 5,000 signatures.

Key Highlights

  • Apple's statement confirmed Home Screen web app support will continue using WebKit. It aligns with iOS' security and privacy models. Users won’t be able to use this functionality if a browser uses a different engine.

  • Despite low PWA adoption, regulatory scrutiny and advocacy led Apple to recognize the importance of these apps for businesses.

Apple’s Full Statement

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. - Statement Via 9to5Mac.

Impacts and Reactions

Impact on Developers and Users

  • Developers can continue creating and distributing web apps without the previous limitations.

  • Users benefit from continued access to diverse web applications directly from their home screens. There’s no need for app store downloads.

Early Reactions

1. Developers and Advocacy Groups

Many see it as a victory for the open web, ensuring that web apps remain an alternative to native apps on iOS devices.

Previously critical of Apple's initial decision, advocacy groups praised the reversal. It highlights its importance for maintaining a competitive and open ecosystem.

2. European Commission

The European Commission responded positively to Apple's reversal, noting over 500 complaints about the initial decision. They stated that removing Home Screen Web Apps was unnecessary under the Digital Markets Act, contrary to Apple's claims.

Apple had argued the removal was to comply with the Act, citing security concerns with non-Safari browsers. The EU had given Apple a deadline of March 7 to align its practices with the new law. The EC clarified that blocking these apps was unnecessary under DMA compliance. Key at-risk applications included those for public schools, hospitals, and transport systems.

What Happens Next?

  • Home Screen web apps will stay operational with the launch of iOS 17.4 in early March.

  • Apple's reversal may affect its approach to future EU regulations. It includes the Digital Markets Act (DMA), indicating potential for more adaptive compliance strategies.

  • The move could also signify Apple's increased responsiveness to developer feedback. It reflects a more collaborative effort towards app ecosystem changes.

Impact for Magento PWA Stores

Magento PWA gains from iOS 17.4 PWA support

Apple's decision to continue support for PWAs in iOS 17.4 benefits Magento developers in the EU. You can web apps to the Home Screen without restrictions. The Magento PWA will enhance user engagement and commerce opportunities.


Apple's decision to support PWAs in the EU marks a win for users, ensuring access to flexible web apps. The move prompts a re-evaluation of App Store policies in light of regulatory pressures like the DMA. It also signals ongoing debates over app distribution and mobile user experiences.

Apple's reversal decision benefits Magento developers, allowing them to continue creating PWAs for their stores and ensuring app-like experiences. Check out Magento hosting plans to ensure your PWA runs smoothly on all devices.

Nikita S.
Nikita S.
Lead Technical Writer

As a lead technical writer, Nikita S. is experienced in crafting well-researched articles that simplify complex information and promote technical communication. She has expertise in cloud computing and holds a specialization in SEO and digital marketing.

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