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Mozilla is ‘Extremely Disappointed’ With Implementation of Apple’s EU Browser Engine Change

Last Update: January 27, 2024

In iOS 17.4, Apple is making a number of changes to iOS to comply with the Digital Markets Act in the European Union. One of these updates will see Apple allowing alternate browser engines, with WebKit no longer required for third-party browsers like Firefox and Chrome.

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While support for alternative browser engines sounds like a win for browser companies, Mozilla spokesperson Damiano DeMonte told The Verge that Firefox is “extremely disappointed” with the way Apple is implementing the feature because it does not extend to the iPad.

“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.”

Firefox uses the Gecko engine and could swap to that on the iPhone, but it would need to continue using WebKit on the iPad. According to DeMonte, Apple’s implementation of the DMA does not give consumers “viable choices” because it makes it “as painful as possible” for companies to provide alternatives to Safari.

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