Apple now lets developers submit interoperability requests for apps

Apple on Thursday announced a series of changes coming to iOS in order to comply with the EU’s Digital Market Act antitrust legislation, which forces the company to let developers distribute their apps outside the App Store. In addition, Apple announced that developers will now be able to submit “interoperability requests” for iOS apps.

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App developers can now send interoperability requests to Apple

A major complaint from many iOS developers is how inflexible Apple is about some of the system’s APIs. Because of this, Apple now lets developers request “additional interoperability with hardware and software features built into iPhone and iOS.”

The idea is to make it easier for developers to talk to Apple about an idea they’ve had that isn’t feasible on iOS due to system restrictions or a lack of APIs. Apple says it will evaluate each request and inform the developer whether it has been accepted or not.

If the idea is approved, the developer will be notified and will receive updates every 90 days on the progress of such implementation in iOS. Of course, the company makes it clear that it won’t approve any interoperability features that could affect the integrity and security of its operating system.

The developer submitting a request must be very clear and specific about the reasons why their app requires additional interoperability with Apple’s software and hardware. Even if approval is not guaranteed, this is a big step forward in opening up communication between Apple and app developers.

Unfortunately and not surprisingly, Apple says it will only accept such requests from developers distributing apps in the European Union as required by law.

More on iOS 17.4, sideloading, and the DMA

With iOS 17.4 beta, which was released today to developers, iPhone users will have access to third-party app marketplaces. These marketplaces can offer apps that are not available on the App Store. The update also makes it easier for users to choose their default apps.

Apple says iOS 17.4 will be released to the public in March, as the deadline for the company to comply with DMA antitrust legislation is March 7.

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