Rachel KaserInternet Culture Writer
Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.
Ever get tired of your iPhone opening Safari or the Mail app when you open a link or an email address… especially if you never use them or have even deleted them? There’s a chance Apple may finally address your concern.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is “considering” allowing users to set rival apps to be the default for web browsing and mail in the imminent iOS 14. Apple’s in-house apps are always set as the default in whatever activity you’re using your phone for. That’s not just the email and browser — as far as I know, there’s no way to change Apple Maps from being the default maps app. Bloomberg’s sources say this change would allow users to select which app would be the default for the given activity.
[Read: Apple slapped with $27 million fine for slowing down older phones]
Just to keep you up to speed, Apple devices currently ship with over 30 of the company’s in-house apps installed. It’s kept its apps as defaults since the App Store launched.
It’s probably not a surprise that Apple’s giving its own software the advantage, but that’s still pretty annoying. While I have deleted a number of the vanilla apps from my phone, I still use several Apple apps because they’re better for me than the competition — and I’m sure several people would do the same. And even if they didn’t, if an app must be forced on the user in order to see significant use, maybe it’s not a very useful app?
According to the same report, Apple might also allow third-party music apps, such as Pandora and Spotify, to play on its HomePods. Currently users can only play music from these apps on a HomePod through AirPlay via another Apple device. It was Spotify that complained last year — and by “complained,” I mean filed an official complaint with the European Commission — against Apple for giving itself an unfair advantage. Indeed, this whole move, if it actually happens, could be an attempt to avoid an official antitrust investigation.
Then again, this is still just a rumor. Even if Apple is considering this, it could still reverse course by the time the next iOS iteration comes out. It’s still nice to think Apple might open its fist a little bit.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment.
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