Friday, January 26, 2024

DMA Compliance: Default App Controls and NFC


Apple will introduce new default controls for users in Settings for:

  • App marketplace apps — Users will be able to manage their preferred default app marketplace through a new default setting for app marketplace apps. Platform features for finding and using apps like Spotlight are integrated with a user’s default app marketplace.
  • Contactless payment apps — Users will be able to manage their preferred default contactless payments app through a new default setting, and select any eligible app adopting the HCE Payments Entitlement as the default.


Apple is also introducing a new choice screen that will surface when users first open Safari in iOS 17.4 or later. That screen will prompt EU users to choose a default browser from a list of options.

This change is a result of the DMA’s requirements, and means that EU users will be confronted with a list of default browsers before they have the opportunity to understand the options available to them. The screen also interrupts EU users’ experience the first time they open Safari intending to navigate to a webpage.

Emphasis added. Apple is not happy about this.


Update (2024-01-26): Joe Rossignol:

Apple said iPhone users in the EU will be presented with a list of the 12 most popular web browsers from their country's local App Store at the time, and noted that the options will be shown in random order for every user.

Apple shared an alphabetical list of the browsers that will currently be shown in every EU country.

See also: John Voorhees (Hacker News).

Juli Clover:

Going forward, NFC payments will be available directly in apps without the need for Apple Pay or the Wallet app, paving the way for third-party payment services and banks to offer their own tap-to-pay solutions on Apple devices.


This access to NFC technology is limited to banking and wallet apps that are in the European Economic Area, which includes the 27 European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Update (2024-03-06): Marcin Krzyzanowski:

Setting a default browser on iOS works like this. Option to change is always available for on-apple browsers. Option is hidden in Safari when Safari is default.

Update (2024-03-07): Thomas Ricker:

Here’s the new iOS default browser nag for iPhone users in Europe.


This screen includes a small explainer that lets you know about your ability to choose a different default browser at any time. After you tap “Continue,” you will be presented with a list of alternate browsers. If you tap a browser in the list, you will be presented with its App Store listing, and will be able to install it with a single tap. If you tap “Not Now” at the bottom of the screen, on the other hand, you will keep using Safari as your default web browser. While it is impossible to re-invoke this screen after you dismiss it, you can still choose a different default browser in Settings at any later time, as usual.

John Gruber:

This screen is ridiculous. […] If this is a good idea for web browsers, why stop there? Why not mandate the same sort of choice screen for every app? Mail, Calendar, Notes, Weather, Camera — why not require all of them to show a choice screen for picking a “default”?

Jeff Johnson:

Gruber is speaking sarcastically, but this would be legitimately good for third parties competing with Apple apps, and as a result, I think it would be good for Apple users too, who would benefit from greater competition and more choices.

Update (2024-03-14): Thom Holwerda:

So I went through the process of setting up a new iPhone. These are all the screens and choices you have to make and go through.


Now tell me again, @gruber, why is adding one more screen to this godawful mess of a setup process to pick a default browser so offensive?

John Gruber:

Because almost no one knows what any of these apps are? Because iOS is designed, from a consumer perspective, as a tightly integrated experience?

Steve Troughton-Smith:

This is/was a complete non-issue. It was less disruptive than the average iOS update. In fact, Apple has had launch interstitials on most of its apps for years that reset every update to show 'What's New’. Adding one to Safari just makes it more like the rest of iOS 😝)

Update (2024-03-20): gumbario:

I have Vivaldi as my default browser and when I open Safari I have to choose a default browser and none of the options is Vivaldi. So if I would want to use Safari only once, I guess I have to set a different browser than Vivaldi as default and then switch back to Vivaldi. Unless I don’t do that I can’t use Safari? To me it looks like Apple made it this bad on purpose.


Apple is indeed only displaying the 12 most popular web browsers in each EU member state. But I don’t think that’s a DMA requirement. I think Apple is allowed to list more web browsers if they want.

Google also had to implement a browser choice screen in Android to comply with the DMA. Their version allows for any browser maker with more than 5000 installs to apply to be listed on the screen.

Ezekiel Elin:

simple solution is to make sure all installed browsers appear on the list.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

The DMA demands gatekeepers to "provide choice screens for key services"
Jeff is absolutely right, there must be more than just for the browser.

And second, "electronic payments" is more than just card payments. GNU Taler, for instance, is a payment system where digital tokens/"coins" are sent from the payer's wallet to the payee's wallet - no cards involved at all. Apple will have to enable NFC tap-to-pay for this also...

Leave a Comment