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Apple confirms 5 major changes coming to iPhones in Europe

Apple just dropped the news about tweaking iOS, Safari, and the App Store for iPhones. The move is all about making sure they’re in line with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a fresh law hitting the European Union (EU) come March.

The European Commission slapped the ‘gatekeeper’ label on Apple under the DMA. This means big tech companies like Apple need to boost competition, consumer options, and innovation. The law also says these ‘gatekeepers,’ including Apple, have to let third parties work with their systems in specific cases—in Apple’s case, with the App Store and Apple Play.

Any companies that don’t play by the DMA rules could end up with fines hitting up to 10% of their global yearly earnings. As for the changes Apple spilled the beans on, users can expect to see them roll out in March.

For iPhone users in EU countries, there’s a new freedom – you’re not stuck with just the App Store anymore. Now you can sideload from other app stores too. Look out for these changes in the upcoming iOS 17.4 version.

Now, developers have the choice to use their own payment service for in-app purchases and subscriptions or connect it to third-party systems, breaking free from Apple’s payment restrictions.

You can now tap to pay without Apple Pay, as the tech giant is giving third-party developers access to NFC (near-field communication). This means they can support the ‘tap for pay’ feature for platforms other than Apple Pay.

iOS users, rejoice! You can now ditch Safari and switch your default browser to Chrome or even Firefox. Guess what, Fortnite fans? The Epic Games-created online video game is gearing up for a comeback on iOS, expected to hit your screens in the next few months.

Apple is hooking developers up with a fee calculator tool and some fresh reports to give them the lowdown on how the new business terms might affect their app ventures. For the scoop on changes for EU apps, developers can hit up the new Apple Developer Support page, and they can start testing out these features right now in the iOS 17.4 beta.