Apple executives are mulling whether to let users choose third-party web browser and mail applications as their default options on iPhones and iPads, replacing the company’s Safari browser and Mail app, Bloomberg News‘ Mark Gurman reports, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
Since launching the App Store in 2008, Apple hasn’t allowed users to replace pre-installed apps such as these with third-party services. That has made it difficult for some developers to compete, and has raised concerns from lawmakers probing potential antitrust violations in the technology industry… The company currently pre-installs 38 default apps on iPhones and iPads, Bloomberg News has reported, including the Safari web browser, Maps, Messages and Mail…
The Cupertino, California-based company also is considering loosening restrictions on third-party music apps, including its top streaming rival Spotify Technology SA, on HomePods, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing internal company deliberations… Also under discussion at Apple is whether to let users set competing music services as the default with Siri on iPhones and iPads, the people said. Currently, Apple Music is the default music app. If the company changes the arrangement, a user would be able to play music from Spotify or Pandora automatically when asking Siri for a song.
MacDailyNews Take: We’d endorse creating the ability to replace default apps on iPhone and iPad with one big caveat: Security and privacy must not be compromised. The vast majority of users would still use Apple’s apps, but the ability to choose to make third-party apps as defaults would not only give users more power, it would alleviate many antitrust issues for Apple.