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Apple allows alternative browsers such as Edge in iOS 17.4

Apple recently announced iOS 17.4, and one of the most notable changes concerns the browser engines used in the European Union (EU). Let's take a closer look at this development and its implications.

The Shift to WebKit

With iOS 17.4, Apple has decided to switch completely to WebKit as the default browser engine for Safari in the EU. This means that other engines, such as Blink and Gecko, will no longer be supported. WebKit is an open-source engine that has long been used in Safari, but this exclusivity for the EU is a remarkable move.

What Does This Mean for Users?

For users in the EU, this change has some implications. First, they can expect a consistent browsing experience, as all websites now use the same engine. This can lead to better performance and fewer compatibility issues.

On the other hand, it can also be limiting. WebKit has its own limitations and can sometimes lag behind other engines when it comes to new Web standards. Users should be aware of these "drawbacks.

The Legal Context

This shift to WebKit stems from legal pressure. The EU has urged Apple to be more transparent about the browser engines it uses and to create a level playing field for competitors. By standardizing WebKit, Apple hopes to meet these requirements.

In iOS 17.4, how can you set Edge or another browser as the default on your iPhone or iPad?

After the iOS 17.4 update, when you start your iPhone on iPad, you will be given the choice to configure one of these browsers as the new default browser. Qwant, DuckDuckGo, Ecoasia, Onion, Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc.

If you have not yet installed this browser, you cannot configure it yet. Then first go to the App store to install the browser you want, then in Settings, press Edge, and under "Default Browser App" choose your newly installed browser.

What are the advantages of having Microsoft Edge as your default browser?

For me personally, I don't see any harm in starting to use Edge, and configuring it as the default browser because it helps synchronize favorites and other settings between Edge on Windows and Mac. In addition, thanks to Edge profiles, switching Accounts is an advantage over Safari.

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