Adapting to Change: iOS 17.4 and the Digital Markets Act

With the imminent rollout of iOS 17.4, Apple is set to introduce a series of significant updates for users within the European Union. These updates, aimed at complying with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), will bring about changes in the way the App Store and various apps operate. As app developers, it’s crucial to understand these changes and prepare for their implications. In this post, we’ll discuss what the iOS 17.4 updates entail and how they might affect app development and user experience within the EU.

Understanding the Digital Markets Act (DMA): The DMA is a set of regulations enacted by the European Union to ensure fair competition and user choice in the digital marketplace. It impacts major tech companies and aims to foster a more competitive environment. With this in mind, Apple has made substantial changes in its upcoming iOS update.

Key Changes in iOS 17.4

  • Alternative App Stores and Fee Structures – Developers will have the option to offer their apps through alternative app stores. This opens the door to a wider distribution network but also introduces new considerations in app security and discoverability.
  • App Installation and Operation – Users may have the ability to install apps from sources outside of the traditional App Store. This could alter the app installation process, prompting developers to ensure their apps are optimised for various marketplaces.
  • Implications for App Developers – The new update may require developers to adapt their monetisation strategies, especially if alternative app stores have different fee structures. Developers will need to consider the implications for app maintenance and support across multiple platforms.
  • User Experience Considerations – With the possibility of installing apps from different sources, users may face a learning curve and potential security concerns. It will be essential to maintain a high-quality user experience, irrespective of the source from which the app is downloaded.

Preparing for the March 6 Deadline: Apple is working towards a March 6 deadline to implement these changes. For developers, this means ensuring that their apps and backend systems are prepared for the updates. It will be vital to stay informed about the specific requirements of the DMA and to test apps thoroughly under the new system.


The updates in iOS 17.4 reflect a broader shift towards greater user choice and competition in the app market. As developers, staying ahead of these changes will be key to success in the EU market. Pocket App is committed to navigating these updates, ensuring that our apps continue to deliver exceptional experiences while complying with new regulations.