Apple Pay web support added to third-party browsers in iOS 16

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Apple Pay web support was made available to third-party browsers in betas of iOS 16. The change has been confirmed to apply to Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

Apple likely made the quiet change in response to upcoming antitrust legislation that seeks to outlaw the practice of forcing browser developers to use WebKit…

Background

Apple has so far enforced two restrictions that limit the functionality offered in third-party web browsers on iPhone and iPad.

First, all browsers must use Apple’s WebKit rendering engine. In effect, this means that all iOS web browsers are the same under the hood, and it’s impossible for a competitor to offer a browser that, for example, renders pages faster than Safari.

Second, you can only use Apple Pay for purchases on the web when using Safari. It is this second restriction that was removed in the betas of iOS 16.

Apple Pay web support in other browsers

iOS Developer Steve Moser noticed the “Continue with Apple Pay” option in Edge and Chrome.

On the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple Pay works in Edge, Chrome, and I guess any third-party browser. On iOS 15, Apple Pay only works in Safari.

It doesn’t work in Edge or Chrome on this latest macOS beta as I guess it requires updating third-party renderers while Edge and Chrome on iOS use Safari’s renderer.

The edge note that this is not the first iOS 16 beta in which the change appeared.

Although Moser doesn’t mention Firefox, other users have noticed Apple Pay’s compatibility with the browser. before the release of iOS 16 beta 4.

A post on Reddit from the beginning of the month shows an option to pay with Apple Pay in iOS 16 beta 2 while using Firefox. Another one user on iOS 16 beta 3 says they also have the option to pay with Apple Pay on Firefox.

We don’t know for sure when Apple started expanding support for Apple Pay and to which browsers. Apple did not immediately respond to The edgerequest for comment.

Likely response to the Digital Markets Act

Apple doesn’t tend to help competing apps out of the goodness of its heart, and The register previously spotted a requirement in a draft copy of the upcoming EU Digital Markets Act that likely explains this move.

The Digital Markets Act — nearly finalized legislation to tame internet gatekeepers — contains language aimed squarely at ending restrictions on Apple’s iOS browser.

The register received a copy of the unpublished changes to the proposed law, and among the various adjustments to the draft agreement is the explicit recognition of “web browser engines” as a service that should be protected from limitations imposed by data controllers. anti-competitive access.

Here is the relevant section of the legislation:

Each browser is built on top of a web browser engine, which is responsible for key browser features such as speed, reliability, and web compatibility. When gatekeepers operate and enforce browser engines, they are able to determine which features and standards will apply not only to their own web browsers, but also to competing web browsers and, therefore, to applications. web-based software.

Gatekeepers should therefore not use their position as companies providing basic platform services to require their dependent business users to use any of the services provided by the gatekeeper itself. even in the context of the provision of services or products by these professional users.

The Digital Markets Act was passed earlier this month and is expected to become law next year. This will have other, more dramatic implications for Apple, including third-party app stores or iOS app sideloading. You can read more about it here.

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