What Is App Web Distribution And When Will It Become Available

Apple has announced new changes for developers and EU users. This includes the introduction of the new Web Mechanism feature, changes to app marketplace rules, and the ability to link to external web pages.

What is Web Distribution in the EU?

Apple is launching a new feature for users in the EU called Web Distribution to install apps from non-App Store sources. This will allow iPhone and iPad users in the European Union to download iOS apps directly from the developer’s website.

With this new mechanism, third-party app developers will be able to offer their apps for download for EU users without putting them up on an app marketplace. This is a change from Apple’s initial approach towards installing apps outside of the App Store, as it previously required developers to put up their apps on an app marketplace.

With the Web Distribution feature users can go to the developer’s official website and download iOS apps directly from their website. A developer can only offer an app for download through a website that is registered on App Store Connect.

Apps that are distributed through a website will still need to meet Apple’s notarization guidelines. Apps downloaded from the web will integrate with system functionality and will back up and restore just like other apps.

When will the Web Distribution feature become available?

Apple says the Web Distribution feature will be available to users in the EU with a software update later this spring. While Apple has not announced which iOS version will support this feature, we expect it to be part of iOS 17.5.

Developers who wish to use the web distribution feature can check the eligibility requirements for the program on Apple’s developer website here.

Other changes

Another change that has recently been introduced by Apple will allow developers to only offer their app through an app marketplace as they are no longer required to open up their marketplace to submissions from other developers.

Lastly, Apple will now let developers link to an external webpage for the completion of a transaction of digital goods or services. Developers are also allowed to design their discounts, promotions, and deals rather than only using Apple’s templates.

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