Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Europe now has a better version of iOS than the rest of the world

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iPhone and EU flag

Apple has released iOS 17.4, with the company pointing to the arrival of podcast transcripts as the highlight. There are also new emoji, improvements to CarPlay, and a number of bug fixes, but things are rather more interesting for users in the European Union.

With the EU’s Digital Market Act coming into force today, March 6, Apple has delivered different versions of iOS 17.4 to this market compared to the rest of the world. And by different, we mean better.

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The DMA means that Apple has been forced to give European users access to third-party app stores and payment services, as well as providing a choice of which browser engine should be used. While these changes have been known about for a while, Apple has left it to the very last minute to introduce them — and the company has not shouted about any of the DMA compliance related changes at all.

After installing iOS 17.4, users in the EU should now see a browser choice screen giving them the option of selecting a default browser. That said, there is a known issue that Apple notes:

Default browser choice screen might not show up when intended and apps requiring certain managed entitlements might not install or show an error. (121566625)

Workaround: Open Settings and navigate to Privacy & Security > Location Services. Toggle location services off for 10 seconds, and then turn it back on.

You can see Apple’s full release notes for iOS 17.4 here — and this is where you can see the company making reference to “alternative app marketplaces” in its only apparent acknowledgement of the changes for EU citizens.

Image credit: Raphael Huber / Dreamstime.com

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