Apple’s browser rules are ‘as painful as possible’ — Mozilla

Apple awaits approval of its guidelines from European Union Commission
An undated image of Firefox logo. — Pixabay
An undated image of Firefox logo. — Pixabay

The set of new regulations, incurred by the European Union, has allowed browsers like can to use their own search engines on iOS.

While it seems an encouraging decision, the top leadership of Mozilla, a renowned browser, is buoyed by the measures taken by the iPhone maker as a company spokesperson, Damiano DeMonte, told The Verge that the company is “extremely disappointed” with the way things turned out.

“We are still reviewing the technical details but are extremely disappointed with Apple’s proposed plan to restrict the newly-announced BrowserEngineKit to EU-specific apps. The effect of this would be to force an independent browser like Firefox to build and maintain two separate browser implementations — a burden Apple themselves will not have to bear,” DeMonte added.

Read more: Spotify terms Apple's compliance of EU regulations 'farce'

In iOS 17.4, Apple will no longer require browsers in the EU to utilise WebKit, the underlying engine for Safari. This change allows for other popular engines like Blink (used by Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge) and Gecko (used by Firefox) to be used, as reported by The Verge.

This change also means that third-party browsers could function fully on iOS without the limitations of WebKit. However, Mozilla argues that implementing these changes only in the EU will make it challenging for browsers to manage different versions.

“Apple’s proposals fail to give consumers viable choices by making it as painful as possible for others to provide competitive alternatives to Safari. This is another example of Apple creating barriers to prevent true browser competition on iOS,” DeMonte added.

Mozilla is not the only developer criticising Apple's new rules, which also apply to game streaming apps, alternative app stores, and sideloading. 

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney referred to the new terms as a "horror show," while Spotify called the changes a "farce." Apple is still waiting for approval of its guidelines from the EU Commission.