The EU Digital Markets Act is making waves in the Apple ecosystem. For the first time ever you’ll be able to install a browser other than Safari/Webkit on iOS (as long as you live in the EU). While there are other browsers on the iOS App Store, they’re all Safari/Webkit under the hood due to non-competitive App Store submission guidelines.
The Open Web Advocacy group have spent years documenting the issues at hand. I haven’t participated much there, but I’ve built countless web apps and have felt most (if not all) the pain points that come with supporting Safari users and, as a Mobile Safari user, not having access to features I’ve built. That feature gap has closed considerably in the last couple years and the Safari/Webkit team’s movement is impressive, their relative openness on issues is welcome, and declaring standards positions reduces risk and removes mystery. But this (potentially) blows the doors open on competition.
It will be interesting to see what happens from here. Will we break out of the Chromium/Webkit duopoly? Or will we fall headlong into a Chromium monopoly? Regardless, the EU ruling is a win for the Open Web because now users have options beyond the OS-provided default browser. Before there was nothing beyond a thin veneer of choice.
At the time of writing, there are some questions on how to test this if you don’t live in the EU and it’s not yet known if (or ever) the rest of the world might also get access to other browsers. And there seems to be some malicious compliance afoot… but hopefully over time the situation normalizes towards the ideal outcome; an unfettered web.
Next, if the EU could fix the GDPR banners that are killing the web, that would be wonderful.