EU officials are not happy with how Apple is handling Progressive Web Apps

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    y2any2an Posts: 193member
    Lost in all this is that Apple blew open the telcos walled garden model for “smart” phones (Jobs: not so smart) when the iPhone launched. Remember WAP? Yeah. Betcha don’t and nor does the EU Commission by the sounds of things. I’m sure these same telcos at MWC2024 are chomping at the bit to wrest back power with a catchily named Open Gateway. And like a lot of “open” named stuff it will be a Trojan horse back into their market dominance and profitability model. 

    But I digress. Probably the reason Apple won’t want progressive apps without further platform changes is that they can’t yet enforce code signing. Perhaps, too, that they can’t audit what has been installed and therefore developer fees owed. With more work these are presumably solvable problems. Just need time and the deadline is here. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 34
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,354member
    chasm said:
    Just to offer some clarity: there is a difference between “saving what amounts to bookmark on your Home Screen” and a Progressive Web App. The former is just a convenient way to open your browser and go to a site in a single step. The latter seeks to “appify” the site and make it work as much like an app as possible. Some sites offer this ability; most don’t, and in any case very few people actually use PWA technology at all.

    Here’s what will happen: Apple will explain to the EU that their rules require that PWAs run on ANY browser engine. Some alternate browser engines are fine, like DuckDuckGo and Firefox, which are more-or-less as private and secure as Safari’s engine. Other ones, even well-known ones like Chrome, act as a pipeline of information about the user and their choices direct to the engine maker, i.e. Google. Others that might get into the business of browser engines might seek to open up attack vectors to the device. This effectively defeats Apple’s efforts to protect users on the web.

    The EU will evaluate Apple’s case and likely decide that it is not singling out EU users for “punishment” but instead protecting their privacy, and back off.
    Yes, and we know Chrome* is pulling all the same tricks with WebApps that Explorer did. So why is the EU letting them get away with it and without the smackdown? 

    Even stranger, we have government departments here in Australia that are failing to Google's aggressive monopolistic practices. With Information "Portals" that are sold to public as Web Standard Compliant but also very badly written so much of the function doesn't work as they say, but they won't let you log fault to be resolved (currently, they take over 3 months to look at them) until you try the issue and troubleshooting with Chrome because that is the most stable.  The problem is made worse by them siloing function to different account types so you have which can't be logged in at the same time in the same browser** so you can't use a single browser anyway.  

    Sorry to ramble, but just to point out, there is strong evidence worldwide that governments are largely clueless when it comes to the web; they buy what lie consultants sell them.

    *more standard than standard. 
    ** another bad trend of modern web.
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 23 of 34
    Just tell the EU to make their own phone
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 34
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,200member
    Would it be possible for Apple to establish a new company, Apple Europe? They could put EU rep on Board and do everything to suit them. Customers could choose to buy a Euro iPhone from them, or an imported U.S. one. Let the market decide. Just spitballin’.
    You know there might be a name for a system that has government represented on boards, corporations and governments together controlling the economy. I believe it starts with F.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 34
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,781member
    y2an said:
    Lost in all this is that Apple blew open the telcos walled garden model for “smart” phones (Jobs: not so smart) when the iPhone launched. Remember WAP? Yeah. Betcha don’t and nor does the EU Commission by the sounds of things. I’m sure these same telcos at MWC2024 are chomping at the bit to wrest back power with a catchily named Open Gateway. And like a lot of “open” named stuff it will be a Trojan horse back into their market dominance and profitability model. 

    But I digress. Probably the reason Apple won’t want progressive apps without further platform changes is that they can’t yet enforce code signing. Perhaps, too, that they can’t audit what has been installed and therefore developer fees owed. With more work these are presumably solvable problems. Just need time and the deadline is here. 
    Yes, I'd say this could well be a play to snatch the gate keys from the keepers. 

    The question would be exactly how they plan to do it. Open Gateway could mean 'direct' access to their networks but what about the terminal side of things? Or connected (non-phone) devices. And how does interoperability impact end users? 

    I haven't browsed the developer documentation but cloud phones could be a way or maybe just layering an access platform on top of existing phones like WeChat does for all its services. 
    edited February 27
  • Reply 26 of 34
    Once upon a time, European culture, language and militaries dominated the world. 
    Today, in the absence of invention and economic vitality, EU seeks to mine for fine American dollars by extortion-like tactics. 
    Meanwhile, Chinese and Korean manufacturing prowess continue to grow towards market dominance in Europe. 
    Time for the EU to wake-up and smell the sour grapes they are producing. The farmers already do. 




    watto_cobraentropys
  • Reply 27 of 34
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member
    What a joke. Apple would have to develop an entirely new framework to allow third parties to support the  functionality using their own apps and browser engines.


    I don't think so.  I am almost 100% sure that the framework exists and that there are a few hidden iOS API's defined that are called by Safari to provide the PWA functionality.  Exposing these API calls to 3rd party browsers is dead simple.  Validating the security implications is a bit more challenging but not that difficult for a company like Apple.  Apple can easily make a contract with imposed security rules with all competing browser companies (there aren't that many).

    I do think that Apple is not willing to expose these APIs because of business reasons, and that the mentioned technical resons is just an excuse.

    Very similar to not letting banks directly access the NFC chip.  Not really a technical reason, just avoiding competition with Apple Pay

     
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguywilliamlondon
  • Reply 28 of 34
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member
    jimh2 said:
    PWA sounds like JAVA. Close but odd enough to not look right or work great. I'll stick to native apps only.

    It is the choice of the developer to offer a PWA or a native app.  Being a developer myself there are some good reasons to choose a PWA:  
    • a PWA is cross platform, you only have to develop it once to support iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS and Limux.   It costs around 40% of the initial development to port an native app to another platform.  And the maintenance costs just double when a second platform is added.
    • a PWA does not need Apple approval, which takes time.  It also avoids the Apple business rules: no discounts allowed, no cross selling, Apple defined exchange rates USD/Euro, ...   
    • a PWA can be upgraded on the spot: very interesting for quickly fixing a bug
    • because it is cross platform a PWA is more cost efffective to operate: 1 single platform to manage user issues, bugs, payments, ...  
    But of course a PWA has no access to all the internals of iOS, so apps that require this access cannot be developed as a PWA.   Also a lot of users don't like the concept of a PWA, which is sad, because the look can be made 100% identical to a native app.  

    Performance of a PWA is lower than that of a native app, so for heavy games a PWA is out of the question.  

    But for most apps that act of as frontend to a cloud service, PWAs are great.

    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 29 of 34
    A lot of commenters are looking at this from what's good for Apple.  How about we look at it from what's good for the customer?  It is not good for the customer to lose web apps on the home screen.  Apple is simply continuing its heavy handed approach with iOS/iPadOS for its own financial benefit in the name of security.  All they had to do was implement the same security model the Mac has and this would be over.  Scan and notarize third party apps and allow an option for no notarization apps.  Simple.  Apple should not be in control of what is installed on an iOS/iPadOS device anymore than they control what is installed on the Mac.  It is such an elementary point that is pains me to have to make it.  When you buy an iPhone from Apple it is no longer Apple's phone.  It is your phone.  You can install what you want on your phone.  Apple's heavy handedness simply should not be tolerated by the customer.
    I suggest Mac users and iPhone users are two very different groups when it comes to doing things you suggest. I was at the Genius Bar the other day and I could not believe the number of iPhone users looking for help and who didn’t have their iPhones backed up even to iCloud. These people need protecting from themselves. 
    watto_cobratmay
  • Reply 30 of 34
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,993member
    Would it be possible for Apple to establish a new company, Apple Europe? They could put EU rep on Board and do everything to suit them. Customers could choose to buy a Euro iPhone from them, or an imported U.S. one. Let the market decide. Just spitballin’.
    That would be terrible. Basically the same as having an fbi guy on staff at Twitter. 

    Letting the government run a private company? 

    Not even a slippery slope. Just straight up going to hell. 

    Not to mention the precedent that would set. 

    Better to just leave Europe and tell them that the rules is why they can’t have nice things. 

    Any company gets to do whatever they want within the confines of the law. What the wi is trying to do is micromanage a company as if that company were part of a communist government. Now they are upset over a feature removal? Give me a break. What’s next, forcing apple to change its icon designs? 
    What does Communists have to do with it? This is what Spotify. Epic, Meta, Google, Microsoft and a cast of other capitalistic companies within the EU want? The EU is doing their bidding.
    edited February 27 williamlondon
  • Reply 31 of 34
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,993member

    avon b7 said:

    And in case you didn't know, MWC2024 started here in Barcelona today and the opening speech made a big play for Open Gateway which already has 65% of the world's telecos onboard with the biggest proponents being the big EU players. 

    'Cloud phones' are already a reality and I hear there were high performance XR demos running at the different stands with all the heavy loading being done at the ICT edge, not the handset. 

    It might be worth keeping an eye on where that goes because in just two years, great strides have been made.

    The network itself is looking to become more than a simple transport pipeline and who holds the keys to that gate? 
    Sounds a bit like the old networked dumb computer terminal model applied to phones—why fill up your phone with a bunch of apps and software that can be served to it remotely? Or am I not understanding what is being proposed?
    Google, Meta, Microsoft, and a cast of EU companies are loosing they want a leg up courtesy of the government (EU). Apple is the last vertical computer company left and needs to be chopped down their business plan is all wrong. There is even grumbling starting up about Apples vision of AI on the Edge.
    edited February 27 williamlondon
  • Reply 32 of 34
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,993member
    jimh2 said:
    PWA sounds like JAVA. Close but odd enough to not look right or work great. I'll stick to native apps only.
    It is a regurgitated form of Flash........
  • Reply 33 of 34
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,993member

    A lot of commenters are looking at this from what's good for Apple.  How about we look at it from what's good for the customer?  It is not good for the customer to lose web apps on the home screen.  Apple is simply continuing its heavy handed approach with iOS/iPadOS for its own financial benefit in the name of security.  All they had to do was implement the same security model the Mac has and this would be over.  Scan and notarize third party apps and allow an option for no notarization apps.  Simple.  Apple should not be in control of what is installed on an iOS/iPadOS device anymore than they control what is installed on the Mac.  It is such an elementary point that is pains me to have to make it.  When you buy an iPhone from Apple it is no longer Apple's phone.  It is your phone.  You can install what you want on your phone.  Apple's heavy handedness simply should not be tolerated by the customer.
    Spotify. Epic, and various EU companies/developers are behind this drive not end users. A battle of the one percent with the help of local government the EU.
    edited February 27 williamlondon
  • Reply 34 of 34
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,384member
    Steve Sinofsky;

    https://hardcoresoftware.learningbyshipping.com/p/215-building-under-regulation?r=3y2k4&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

    Fuck all; Steve is right on the money;

    The lesson of the first two decades of the PC and the first almost two decades of smartphones are that these ends of a spectrum are not accidental. These choices are not mutually compatible. You don’t get both. I know this is horrible to say and everyone believes that there is somehow malicious intent to lock people into a closed environment or an unintentional incompetence that permits bad software to invade an ecosystem. Neither of those would be the case. Quite simply, there’s a choice between engineering and architecting for one or the other and once you start you can’t go back. More importantly, the market values and demands both.

    That is unless you’re a regulator in Brussels. Then you sit in an amazing government building and decide that it is entirely possible to just by fiat declare that the iPhone should have all the attributes of openness. By all accounts there seemed to be little interest in the brand promise that presumably drew a third of the market to iPhone. In the over 60 pages of DMA, there’s little mention of privacy (just 7 times), security (9 times), performance (3), reliability (once), or battery life (0), or accessibility (just 3).  I would acknowledge one section about halfway through the 100 goals of one part of the DMA there is deference to these issues though note the important caveat about defaults: 

    (50) Furthermore, in order to ensure that third-party software applications or software application stores do not undermine end users’ security, it should be possible for the gatekeeper to implement strictly necessary and proportionate measures and settings, other than default settings, enabling end users to effectively protect security in relation to third-party software applications or software application stores if the gatekeeper demonstrates that such measures and settings are strictly necessary and justified and that there are no less-restrictive means to achieve that goal. The gatekeeper should be prevented from implementing such measures as a default setting or as pre-installation.


    As anyone who has ever done any work on secure systems knows, a system is only secure if it is secure by default. 


    Another way of saying what the DMA does is to compare it to the typical out-of-touch executive review when faced with a difficult choice between two options to solve a problem. When faced with two choices, the brave executive simply defines a third option that magically has the best attributes of each of the two choices and declares success. 

    The team at the table sits there stunned not knowing what to say because of course if “Option 3” was a possibility they, knowing a great deal about the problem and solutions, would have proposed said solution. As with EU regulatory discussions, there is little recourse, and the team just leaves the room in a bit of a stupor unable to figure out what to do or who will be able to convince the boss of reality. Still this paragraph is incredibly important because it acknowledges that third parties cannot undermine security and “gatekeepers” to protect users. The regulators know they do not want to be caught designing a system that is less secure. It would certainly be easy to test the outcome since we know the number of issues today and will know the number of issues post regulation. But they also don’t want this to be the default too easily. We’ll return to this. Suffice it to say, at least in part buried 50 paragraphs down is a recognition of a brand promise that was in the iPhone from the start.

    That is where Apple finds itself today. It was told, essentially to create a new iPhone release that is as good as your old one for your existing customers but do all these things that run counter to every lesson and experience over decades, everything you designed and architected.  Everything you promised customers you would deliver. That truly sucks.

    Fuckiing EU morons.

    The Apple Brand Promise

    We at Microsoft like to think that all through this Steve Jobs was watching us. But in our hearts, we know that wasn’t the case. If you look at the grand arc of Apple computers there is an entirely consistent effort to build the very best personal computing experience, even at the expense of market share. “Think Different” was an obvious counter to the IBM motto “Think” and it was also a call to make different products and not chase the same goals every other company chased. Steve understood the failings of the mass market computers, having made the first wildly successful one. The three decades from the Apple I that included the Apple ][, Lisa, Mac, PowerBook, Newton, OS X, iMac, iPod and a hundred other products and strategies culminated in iPhone. By iPhone I do not mean simply a “smartphone” but every decision that went into it. The promise of the iPhone reached a new level on the journey to a “bicycle of the mind”, and it did so intentionally, architecturally, and what I would say was spiritually.

    Looking just at the first iPhone and first iPhone OS one can see this at work. As we all know, the iPhone launched not as a “phone”, but three great devices integrated together: “a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.” It was a remarkable achievement. However, if you happened to be a platform builder it was a different part of the launch that really caught your eye and was perhaps the boldest move. Steve described the phone software as:

    Now, software on mobile phones is like baby software. It’s not so powerful, and today we’re going to show you a software breakthrough. Software that’s at least five years ahead of what’s on any other phone. Now how do we do this? Well, we start with a strong foundation. iPhone runs OSX.

    Wow, iPhone runs OSX. I was sitting there thinking, “yikes how did they do that” when our mobile devices were running a stripped-down version of ancient 16-bit Windows that was forked at some point in the 1990s. iPhone ran a real OS. He went on to say:

    Now, why would we want to run such a sophisticated operating system on a mobile device? Well, because it’s got everything we need. It’s got multi-tasking. It’s got the best networking. It already knows how to power manage. We’ve been doing this on mobile computers for years. It’s got awesome security. And the right apps. It’s got everything from Cocoa and the graphics and it’s got core animation built in and it’s got the audio and video that OSX is famous for. It’s got all the stuff we want. And it’s built right in to iPhone. And that has let us create desktop class applications and networking. Not the crippled stuff that you find on most phones. This is real, desktop-class applications.

    Good grief that was brilliant. There’s just not enough praise I can direct at Scott and team and of course to Tony and team delivering a hardware platform that could handle that. Insert Wayne’s World “not worthy” meme :-)


    Fucking EU morons.
    edited March 3
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