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Apple announces five major changes for iPhones in Europe. Details

Apple has announced changes to iOS, Safari, and the App Store for iPhones, doing so to ensure compliance in the European Union (EU) with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new law that will take effect in March.

A women uses an iPhone mobile device as she passes a lighted Apple logo at the Apple store (REUTERS)

The European Commission designated Apple as a ‘gatekeeper’ under the DMA, which require major tech companies to promote competition, consumer choice, and innovation. Among other things, the law mandates that ‘gatekeepers,’ including Apple, must ‘allow third parties to interoperate with their own systems in certain instances’ (in Apple’s case, App Store and Apple Play).

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Companies not complying with DMA will face fines of up to 10% of their annual worldwide turnover.

The changes announced by the iPhone maker, meanwhile, will be available to users in March.

Sideloading on iPhones: iPhone users in EU nations are no longer limited to the App Store, and can now sideload from other app stores as well. These regulations will come via the iOS 17.4 version.

Make payments outside of Apple: Developers finally have the option to use its own payment service for in-app purchases and subscription, or link it to third-party systems.

Tap to pay without Apple Pay: The tech giant is opening NFC (near-field communication) to third-party developers, allowing them access to the feature, and support to ‘tap for pay’ for platforms other than Apple Pay.

Switch your default browser: iOS finally has the option to switch default browser from Safari to Chrome or even Firefox.

‘Fortnite’ returns to iOS: The Epic Games-developed online video game is likely to be released on iOS in the coming months.

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