Apple announces Web Delivery feature to enable direct downloads from developer websites in the EU

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Apple announced Tuesday that it is adding support for Web distribution in the coming weeks, allowing developers to distribute apps directly from their websites without the need to set up a third-party app store. These apps may also support backup and restore functionality as well as system integration. The iPhone maker also revealed that it is changing its policies related to support of alternative app stores in the EU, making it easier for developers to offer their own apps exclusively through a dedicated app marketplace .

According to details shared by Apple on its developer website, an upcoming software update will add support for web distribution in the EU. Authorized developers will soon be able to distribute apps to users directly from their websites. These developers will also have access to iOS application programming interfaces (APIs) to support backup and restore functions, systems integration, and app distribution via the web without third-party app stores.

According to Apple's support page for Web distribution, developers who want to distribute their apps directly from their websites must be enrolled as an organization (or have a subsidiary legal entity) that is “incorporated in the European Union, Is domiciled and registered”. , They will also need to be part of the Apple Developer Program for at least two consecutive years, while one of their apps must exceed one million annual app downloads in the EU.

Apple has also imposed some restrictions, including requiring apps to be notarized, and asking developers to agree to distribute apps only from their developer account. Developers must also ensure that they respond to company communications, publish data collection policies, and provide privacy controls. They must also comply with the EU's Digital Services Act and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) while complying with government requests to remove apps.

According to the company, developers opting for web distribution will also have to pay Apple a core technology fee (CTF) of 0.50 euros (about Rs 45) for every million app installs annually. Accredited educational institutions, government entities, and non-profit organizations will be exempt from the annual Apple Developer Program membership fee and CTF.

Apple also announced that developers who want to offer alternative app marketplaces in the EU will finally be able to limit these stores to their own apps – a departure from the company's original policy that said other developers should also be able to use their own apps. The app must be allowed to be offered on third party app stores. This means that developers can now offer dedicated app stores with their own applications in the EU.


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