Apple recently released iOS 17.4 to developers for testing purposes. In accordance with our prior speculations, the company is rolling out App Store changes with its latest iOS 17.4 beta. The upcoming update will house all the required changes the EU imposed under the Digital Markets Act. Apple has until March 6 to comply with the necessary changes, and the latest beta confirms that iOS 17.4 will be the update that will change how users download and install apps on the iPhone. With iOS 17.4, Apple has also opened the browser category for third-party developers, which they can use as the default app.
iOS 17.4 will open browsers and WebKit for third-party apps, which can be set as the default option
As mentioned, Apple is now giving more choices to users with iOS 17.4 to choose the app they want to make default as their browser. We have recently covered that the company has also opened the NFC chip on the iPhone for third-party banking and wallet apps to take advantage of tap-to-pay options other than Apple Pay. However, the company offers these changes with certain limitations to protect user privacy and data.
With the latest changes, Safari will no longer be the default browser option for the iPhone, as third-party apps like Chrome can be set as the default browser app. The functionality is pretty similar to how third-party browsers work on a Mac. Once the update is available, users will be presented with a flash screen upon opening Safari to choose their preferred browser.
iOS 17.4 will allow users to download a wider range of browsers and set them as default, such as Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and more. Additionally, third-party browsers can now use browser engines other than WebKit. The change will affect the browser apps and the in-app browsing experience. Currently, all browsers on iOS must use Apple’s WebKit engine.
Besides the browser, iOS 17.4 also brings many changes related to the App Store to the iPhone. We have recently covered that Epic will also make its Fortnite game available on the iPhone through its store. Note that iOS 17.4 is in its early beta phase, and forthcoming beta builds will introduce additional changes to the App Store.