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Apple's 'Big Brother' tactics stifle Euro tech freedom

by on20 May 2024

EU needs to check the fine print

In a classic display of Apple's 'my way or the highway' attitude, the tech giant has finally bent the knee to European law, but not without a sneaky catch that's got third-party browser developers in a right tizz.

 Word on the street is that Jobs' Mob has thrown a spanner in the works, making it a pain to develop and support any browser other than their own Safari on iOS devices.

Apple's put up invisible walls, insisting that if you want to tinker with third-party browser engines, you've got to be on EU soil. This effectively puts developers under house arrest! If your dev team's soaking up the sun in the US, tough luck – they're stuck fiddling with simulators which are about as much use as a chocolate teapot when it comes to proper testing.

Before iOS 17.4 came along, Apple had everyone marching to the beat of their own drum, forcing all web browsers on iOS or iPadOS to cosy up with Apple's WebKit rendering engine.

Dreaming of using Gecko or Blink? Forget it. No matter which browser you fancied on your iPhone, it was just Safari in disguise. Browser bods have been outraged about this for yonks, arguing it's stifling competition and making it less tempting for Apple users to stray from Safari.

This way, Apple's nod to European law, but with fingers crossed behind their back. It's a classic case of giving with one hand and taking with the other, and it's the tech whizzes who are left to pick up the pieces.


Last modified on 20 May 2024
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