Phones and Apps in 2024

Big Changes Taking Effect Soon, with DMA and DSA (Digital Market and Services Acts)

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Rafael Oliveira

4 min read

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2024 is a year of big changes in the tech world. The European Union introduced something called the 'Fair Play Rules', officially known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA). These rules are starting to change how we use our phones and apps, and by March 2024, they'll be in full effect and companies must comply. Let's dive into what this means for all of us, whether we're just using our phones or building our own apps.

What's Happening in the Tech World

The EU decided it was time to shake things up in technology. The 'Fair Play Rules' is all about making things more balanced in the digital market.

Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple are having to adjust their practices and policies in the EU, embracing a new era of digital fairness and openness. These tech giants are having to rethinking their approach to app distribution, payment systems, and user privacy.

Big News for iPhone Users

  • More Apps on Your iPhone: Apple is adapting to new EU regulations, and with iOS version 17.4, there's a new horizon for iPhone and iPad users. You'll have the option to download apps from places other than the Apple Store, bringing a diverse array of app choices to your fingertips.

  • More Power to You: These changes mean greater control over your digital experience. Apps will now need your permission to track your activities, and you can wave goodbye to those pre-installed apps you never use, ensuring your privacy and personal choices.

  • New Ways to Pay using iPhones: Payment options are also expanding. Apps can now access the iPhone's NFC chip directly, introducing alternatives to Apple Pay and the Wallet app, and enabling third-party payment services.

  • Freedom for App Creators: For app developers, it's a time of opportunity and decision-making. Apple is introducing a 'Core Technology Fee' for apps distributed through third-party app stores or using alternative payment methods. If your app sees more than a million downloads in a year in the EU, a fee of €0.50 per additional download will apply. This could be a hefty sum for popular free apps. Developers are now weighing their options: stick with Apple’s traditional model or venture into new territories with potential costs. But hold on, there’s more than just these two paths – as we'll explore later, there's another avenue opening up for innovative developers.

This Change Could Spread Worldwide

These changes are starting in the EU in just a few weeks from now, but they're so significant that other countries might follow suit. What's happening in Europe might soon affect how we all use our phones and apps around the world.

Keeping the Online World Safe: The Digital Services Act (DSA)

Along with the Fair Play Rules (DMA), there's also the Digital Services Act (DSA). This act is about making sure that the online world is safer and more trustworthy. It aims to protect us from harmful online stuff and make clear rules for companies that run online platforms.

What the DSA Brings to the Table

  • Safer Internet for All: The DSA aims to make online spaces safer and more reliable for everyone.

  • Clearer Rules for Online Companies: Companies that operate online platforms will have a clearer understanding of what they need to do to operate across Europe.

When the Rules Kick In

These new rules apply to every platform operating in the EU starting from February 2024. The EU will be watching the big platforms closely to ensure they're playing by the new rules.

The Spotlight on Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

There's a buzz in the tech world about Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), and it's growing thanks to the EU's new rules. PWAs are kind of like tech magic – you can use them straight from your browser, or download them to use anytime, online or offline. Just like regular apps, they pop up as icons on your screen. The big plus? PWAs don't have to play by the usual app store rules or pay those fees. This means developers can get their free apps to you directly, without any hidden costs.

A Fresh Opportunity for Developers

This is a great time for developers. PWAs let you be creative without being boxed in by app store rules. You can reach your audience straight away and keep making your app better whenever you want. This is especially good news for smaller developers or those making unique, niche apps. No need to worry about app store submissions and simply focus on being creative and getting your app out there to the world.

Wrapping Up

We're stepping into a new chapter in tech. It's not just about updates or new gadgets, but a big shift in how we use technology. For users, it means more choices and a more tailored digital world. And for developers, it's a green light to be innovative and stand out. We're entering a digital era that's open, fair, and full of exciting possibilities. Being part of the tech revolution right now is really something special.