Apple Retracts Plan to Discontinue Home Screen Web Apps in the EU

Web Apps on iPhone in EU
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Apple has decided to maintain the functionality of home screen web apps, or Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), for its iOS users in the European Union. This decision comes after an initial announcement that hinted at the opposite, sparking considerable concern among its user base and developers alike.

Understanding the Backlash

Progressive Web Apps offer a seamless way to access and interact with websites by installing them as standalone apps directly on iOS devices. This feature not only enhances accessibility but also provides app-like functionalities for websites that may not have dedicated iOS applications. The unexpected news that Apple intended to discontinue support for these home screen web apps led to widespread dismay. The move was initially inspired by the Digital Markets Act (DMA), aiming to align with new regulations. However, it was met with significant backlash from the community, emphasizing the value and importance of PWAs for a diverse user experience.

Apple’s Response

In response to the feedback, Apple announced a reversal of its decision on Friday, March 1, 2024. The tech giant confirmed that users in the EU would continue to enjoy the ability to install and use PWAs on their iOS devices. This decision underscores Apple’s commitment to its user base and its willingness to adapt based on user feedback and needs.

The controversy initially erupted when EU users who had downloaded the latest beta version of iOS discovered that the update removed the home screen web app feature.

Recognizing the inconvenience and disruption this caused, Apple has assured that an upcoming update, iOS 17.4, will restore this beloved feature. Slated for release in early March, the update will ensure that users can once again enjoy the convenience and functionality of PWAs on their devices.

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