Apple to explain its mammoth EU App Store rule changes in 30-minute developer consultations

App Store on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Following Apple's decision to make sweeping changes to the App Store in the European Union, some developers might be confused or concerned about what the change means for them, their apps, and their businesses. Apple says that those developers can now get the answers they need and provide feedback on the changes as part of a 30-minute consultation with "an Apple team member."

Apple is changing the way the App Store works in the EU in an attempt to better align itself with upcoming Digital Markets Act rule changes. Those changes come into force in early March and Apple is expected to release the iOS 17.4 update before then in order to comply. But the changes that the update brings are many and varied, and Apple appears to be aware that it might not have done the best of jobs communicating those changes. As a result, Apple has shared the news that the consultations will be available to those who need a helping hand.

Apple is running consultations from multiple places around the world including Cupertino, London, and Singapore with dates beginning February 6.

Everything's covered

Apple's latest App Store changes include allowing apps to link out to third-party payment systems as well as offering alternative payments within apps published via the App Store. Apple is even going to allow web browsers like Chrome to use their own in-house browsing engine, removing the requirement to use Apple's own WebKit for the first time.

All of this and more will be discussed during these meetings, Apple's developer website notes.

"Meet with an Apple team member to discuss changes to iOS, Safari, and the App Store impacting apps in the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act," the post reads. "Topics include alternative distribution on iOS, alternative payments in the App Store, linking out to purchase on your webpage, new business terms, and more."

Alongside the offer of online consultation, Apple says that it will also be running an in-person lab in Cork, Ireland, for those who would like to learn more about the changes face-to-face. Those who would like to book a meeting with Apple can do so online, while developers can also request to attend the in-person Lab in Cork via Apple's website.

Undoubtedly the biggest change coming in iOS 17.4 is the ability for those in the EU to install third-party app stores which themselves will be able to offer apps for download. Apple will require that the entities running those stores put up a $1 million payment in order to be approved, something that will rule out the smaller options and hopefully limit the potential for bad actors to take advantage of the rule change.

All of this comes at a bad time for Apple with plenty going on at Apple Park. The company has only just released the Vision Pro headset to the public, and it will be hard at work on the upcoming WWDC event that will likely take place in June. That'll bring with it a new raft of software updates for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV — and now, the Vision Pro. Apple is also set to launch the new iPad Air and OLED iPad Pro within the next few months as well as the updated M3 MacBook Airs. After that, we're firmly into new iPhone season with Apple working to get all of those new software updates into the hands of device owners around the globe by the end of September.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.