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New rules from Apple in the EU mean that browsers like Firefox can finally use their own engines on iOS. Although Mozilla spokesperson Damiano DeMonte points out that this may seem like a welcome change. the verge It is “extremely disappointed” with the way things turned out.
“We’re still reviewing the technical details, but are extremely disappointed by Apple’s proposed plan to limit the newly announced BrowserEngineKit to EU-specific apps,” says DeMonte. “The effect of this would be to force independent browsers like Firefox to create and maintain two separate browser implementations – a burden that Apple itself would not have to bear.”
In iOS 17.4, Apple will no longer force browsers in the EU to use WebKit, the underlying engine that powers Safari. This change opens the door to other popular engines, such as Blink, which is used by Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, as well as Gecko, the engine used by Firefox. This also means that third-party browsers can be fully functional on iOS without any of the limitations that come with WebKit.
Despite this, Mozilla argues that implementing the change only in the EU will make it more difficult for browsers to link different versions. “Apple’s proposal fails to give consumers a viable alternative by making it as painful as possible to provide a competitive alternative to Safari,” says DeMonte. “This is another example of Apple creating barriers to prevent true browser competition on iOS.”