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iOS 16 — Apple Pay tipped for a huge change

Image of Apple Pay logo on an iPhone
(Image credit: Primakov/Shutterstock)

Apple Pay can handle in-browser payments on iPhone, but only in Safari. Now that's about to change with iOS 16, as Apple Pay could finally be compatible with Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and even Mozilla Firefox. 

In a tweet (opens in new tab) Steve Moser (developer and contributor at MacRumors) shows that Apple Pay works on Edge and Chrome in iOS 16 beta 4. According to other users in this Reddit thread (opens in new tab), it is also available in Firefox. Currently, Apple Pay only works with Safari for any in-browser payments on iOS 15

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The Apple Pay third-party browser support seems limited to iOS for now. Moser noticed Apple Pay doesn’t work on Edge or Chrome on the desktop with the latest MacOS beta. This is probably because desktop browsers use their own web (render) engines, while iOS relies on Safari’s web engine — Webkit. 

Third-party browsers are free to use their own web engines on MacOS so for now, the likelihood of this new feature coming to Apple Pay on macOS is low.

Apple’s move to expand support to third-party browsers probably comes as a reaction to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act. The Act targets companies (like Apple) which force developers use their own web rendering engine and exert control over things like features in third-party browsers. Web engines are responsible for key browser functions like speed, reliability and web compatibility — crucial components that app developers rely on.

A draft of the legislation, obtained by The Register (opens in new tab), states “When gatekeepers [like Apple] operate and impose browser engines, they are in a position to determine the functionality and standards that will apply not only to their own web browsers, but also to competing web browsers and, in turn, to web software applications.” It goes on to say that companies should not use their position to interfere with providing core platform services. 

The Digital Markets Act is set to come into effect in Spring 2023 in the EU, and Apple’s move with Apple Pay suggests they are making amends before the crackdown. 

Either way, it is welcome news for users. Expanding Apple Pay to Chrome, Firefox and Edge in iOS means that we can now use nearly any browser to make in-browser payments using Apple Pay. 

This expanded support for Apple Pay in iOS browsers besides Safari is now in developer beta — which means it will likely arrive on our iPhones when iOS 16 is released to the public this fall.

Next: How to use Apple Pay with your iPhone.

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.