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Apple rule change allows EU developers to distribute iOS apps via web

Apple has made further changes to its business terms in the European Union, now allowing developers to distribute their iOS apps via their own websites in addition to the App Store.

The updated rules, spotted by, will apply to any developers who sign up to the new business terms introduced in response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which, among other things, aims to open up closed ecosystems such as iOS.

Apple states: “Web Distribution, available with a software update later this spring, will let authorized developers distribute their iOS apps to EU users directly from a website owned by the developer.”

The company adds that it will provide authorised developers with access to APIs that enables web distribution for apps.

The company has also changed how developers link to direct and third-party payments that do not use Apple’s own payment processing system, which incurs a 30% fee.

Previously, Apple mandated that developers had to use templates that it had created to promote these payments. Now the company says “developers can choose how to design promotions, discounts, and other deals” when encouraging users to purchase in-game goods via a website.

Last month, it was announced that Apple was updating its business terms in preparation for the DMA coming into effect. Among those terms was a 17% commission for any digital goods or services sold via alternative app stores, which are now allowed to launch on iOS.

Apple’s new terms also introduce a “core technology fee” – similar to Unity’s controversial runtime fee – which charges €0.50 for each install per year after the first million, regardless of how the app is distributed.

In his latest column, contributing editor Rob Fahey discussed Apple’s ongoing efforts to frustrate its compliance with the EU and the DMA – typified by last week’s short-lived ban on Epic’s developer account.

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