Apple Launches iOS 17.5 Beta 2 with Exclusive Features for EU iPhone Users

What you should know

  • The Digital Market Act (DMA) in the EU enables iPhone users to enjoy capabilities such as installing non-WebKit browsers, sideloading apps from third-party App Stores, and using alternative payment options in the App Store.
  • Non-compliance with the DMA could result in hefty penalties for tech companies, potentially costing up to 10% of a company’s global revenue, which for Apple could mean a fine as large as $38.3 billion.
  • With the release of iOS 17.5 beta 2, iPhone users in the EU can now download apps directly from developers’ websites, bypassing the App Store and avoiding the Apple Tax, although a 0.50 euro Core Technology Fee applies for each install beyond 1 million over the past 12 months.
  • Developers distributing apps outside the App Store must adhere to specific criteria, including being part of the Apple Developer program for at least two years, demonstrating a significant number of installs, and providing policies on data collection, refunds, and customer service.

Full Story

Oh, the envy of iPhone users outside the EU is real. They’re peeking over the digital fence, wishing they had something like the Digital Market Act (DMA). Imagine that! With iOS 17.4, folks in the EU got to break free from Apple’s tight grip. They’re now installing browsers that don’t just run on Apple’s WebKit. Talk about a breath of fresh air.

And it doesn’t stop there. These lucky ducks can sideload apps from places that aren’t the App Store. Plus, they’ve got options galore for payment methods. Meanwhile, the rest of us are stuck in Apple’s walled garden, looking in. Outside the EU’s 27 countries, Apple’s strict rules remain unchallenged. No sideloading joy for us, no sir.

But why does the DMA have such teeth? It’s the penalties. Tech giants could lose up to 10% of their global revenue for not playing ball. For Apple, that’s a staggering potential fine of $38.3 billion. Yikes, right? That’s enough to make even the biggest company think twice.

Just today, Apple dropped the second developer beta for iOS 17.5. And guess what? It’s another win for EU iPhone users. They can now download apps straight from developers’ websites. No App Store middleman. But there’s a catch – these developers have to tick some boxes first. They need a two-year tenure in the Apple Developer program, for starters.

And there’s more. Apps hitting the web must have notched up a million installs in the EU over the last year. Plus, these developers have to be upfront about how they handle user data. They also need to offer refunds, customer service, and app management. It’s all about keeping iPhone users safe and sound.

By sidestepping the App Store, developers dodge the infamous Apple Tax. But, and it’s a big but, they’re on the hook for a 0.50 euro Core Technology Fee for each install past the million mark over 12 months. Not everyone has to pay up, though. Nonprofits, schools, and government bodies get a pass.

Who knows? Maybe one day, other countries will get their own DMA-style laws. But for now, this app downloading freedom is a European exclusive. So, here’s to hoping that change is on the horizon, for the sake of iPhone users everywhere. But until then, we watch and wait.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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