Apple is adapting to the EU's Digital Markets Act with plans that have sparked debate. This adaptation allows developers to propose alternative app stores and external applications via App Store Connect. With the DMA's March 2024 deadline approaching, Apple is proactive in facilitating developers to test their apps and marketplaces. According to documentation on Apple's developer site, App Store Connect and its API serve as the foundation for setting up these alternatives.
Developers in compliance with Apple's updated regulations in the EU are empowered to create app marketplaces that rival the App Store. These new marketplaces will host apps seeking independence from Apple's ecosystem or those that couldn't previously comply with Apple's guidelines.
Updates to App Store Connect and its API enable the establishment of distribution channels for these alternative marketplaces and their apps. Developers can utilize Apple's TestFlight app for testing, with the opportunity to integrate new browser engines, alternative payment options, and external links into their apps.
Moreover, Apple is extending support to developers through online consultations and labs, aimed at clarifying these new processes and the utilization of over 600 new APIs. This move comes despite Apple's reluctance towards the DMA mandates, indicating a significant shift in how app distribution and development could unfold within the EU.