Apple has released the iOS 17.4 update, which will finally open up the company’s ecosystem in the European Union a bit through the Digital Markets Act (DMA), writes The Verge.

Users in the EU will receive a separate list of updates, including the ability to use a third-party default browser, download other app stores, and the ability for developers to use NFC on the iPhone.

Users will now be able to download alternative browsers that are not built on Apple WebKit and will have the option to set them as the default instead of Safari.

The company will finally allow developers to use NFC on smartphones not only for Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, but no alternative contactless payment applications have been presented yet.

Another important change is the permission to install third-party app stores. The first alternative will be the Mobivention store, which will be available on March 7.

It is also known that Setapp from the Ukrainian company MacPaw will be available in April. Besides, Epic Games is preparing its own alternative store for iOS.

However, there is a nuance with third-party app stores – they will not work if users travel outside the EU. Apple claims that no restrictions will be imposed on short trips, but if users leave one of the EU countries for a long time, the stores will stop working.

In addition, Apple decided not to disable web apps on iOS after the European Commission’s possible investigation into competition restrictions.

Among the changes that will be available to users around the world, not just in the EU, are a new set of more than 100 emojis, an automatic transcription feature in the Podcasts app, a new cryptographic protocol for iMessage that will strengthen end-to-end encryption protection against quantum computing attacks, and more.

iOS 17.4 will be available for Apple smartphones starting with the 2nd generation iPhone XR and iPhone SE. The company is just starting to roll out the update, so it may be available a little later for some users.