Possibly soon no more browser compulsion with iOS

27. April 2022 –
If there is an amendment to the currently discussed EU law Digital Markets Act, the time when Apple only allows Webkit as a browser engine for iOS will soon be over.

Since the first version of Apple’s smartphone operating system iOS, the manufacturer has not allowed any other browser engine on its mobile devices than its own Webkit. There are alternative browsers, but they must also work on a Webkit basis. The differences to Apple’s Safari browser are limited to the surface and individual additional features. Chrome, Edge and Firefox hardly differ from Safari on iOS and iPadOS. And web app developers complain because Webkit doesn’t support all APIs common in other engines.

This could soon change if the EU authorities have their way. As “The Register” reports, an amendment to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) currently being negotiated is intended to ensure that the technological power of large platform operators such as Apple, Google or Microsoft is kept within limits and that competition plays a role instead. In the case of Apple, the Webkit constraint has so far meant that Apple’s own browser remains in a preferred position because other browsers for iOS and iPadOS offer no real advantages. (ubi)

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