Apple adding support for third-party default browsers and browser engines with iOS 17.4 in the EU
Apple has announced that beginning in March with the release of iOS 17.4, users in the EU will be able to set a default browser and browser engine within the Settings app of their device to comply with the Digital Markets Act’s requirements in the European Union.
With the update, users will be presented with a pop-up upon opening Safari for the first time prompting them to choose their preferred default browser from a curated list of options, such as Google Chrome and Firefox. Once an alternative browser is chosen, all links systemwide will open in the user’s preferred browser, cutting out Safari completely.
For developers, apps that currently use WebKit — a browser engine that powers various web browser apps available on the App Store — will now be able to use browser engines other than WebKit — for dedicated browser apps and apps providing in-app browsing experiences in the EU.
Apple says to use an alternative browser engine, developers will need to request the Web Browser Engine Entitlement (for browser apps that want to use alternative browser engines) or the Embedded Browser Engine Entitlement (for apps that provide in-app browsing experiences that want to use alternative browser engines).