iOS 17.4 Public Beta Removes Support for Progressive Web Apps on iPhone in Europe: Report

Feb 9, 2024


Apple released the iOS 17.4 public beta to beta testers globally last month, and the update was especially important for European users. It brought support for third-party app stores to the iPhone in the region, while allowing third-party browsers like Firefox and Google to use their own engines instead of Apple's WebKit. However, some testers have now reported that the update has removed support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on their devices. A developer has claimed that this could be a deliberate step to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Developer Maximiliano Fertman Posted The issue was highlighted on Twitter. He first posted about removing PWAs on his iPhone on February 2, after the first public beta of iOS 17.4 was released. At the time he called it a bug, but following the release of iOS 17.4 beta 2 earlier this week, Maximiliano claims that Web Apps may have been intentionally removed in Europe because of a system alert notifying users. That web apps “will open from your site.” Default browser from now on”.

The tipster said that the possible reason for this move could be the EU's DMA. Apple added support for PWAs to Safari through its browser engine WebKit. The company has also required third-party browsers to use the same engine for their apps. However, with DMA rules coming into effect next month, the iPhone maker is now allowing browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to run its browser engine, which will not support PWAs. The paradoxical part behind this argument is that Safari should still be able to support these web apps.

If this is true, it means users in Europe will no longer receive web push notifications from PWAs, a feature that was added with the iOS 16.4 update. Moreover, it will also result in users losing the data stored in these web apps. However, it's worth noting that the tipster highlighted that “nothing is mentioned on the release notes about this change”. Additionally, another user has also informed of That they are unaffected by the issue.

Apple also released the iOS 17.3.1 update to all users on Thursday, ahead of the expected release of iOS 17.4 in March. This is a small update that focuses on bug fixes and addresses only one issue. According to the changelog, some users reported an issue where when typing, text unexpectedly duplicates itself or overlaps in a text field. Users who encountered the issue should find that it has been resolved after updating to the latest version.


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