Apple has never let iPhone and iPad users change their default email and browser apps in the devices’ settings. While you can use and install other mail clients and web apps, web links will always open in Safari and tapping on an email address anywhere in the system will open a new message in Mail.
It is all part of Apple’s walled garden that it attempts to keep its users in. But according to a report in Bloomberg that could change with iOS 14, when Apple is said to be considering allowing users to pick their default apps, just like has long been possible with Android.
That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg that also claims Apple is considering also allowing Spotify and Pandora to stream directly to its HomePod smart speaker. Currently, you have to use Apple Music.
iOS 14 will likely fully launch in September this year, along with the expected announcement of the iPhone 12 series.
Apple has always come under criticism for forcing iPhone and iPad buyers to use Apple’s first party apps, or at least how it makes it hard to use a third party alternative. But soon you might be able to let links open in Firefox or Chrome instead of Safari or launch into new emails through Gmail or Outlook.
Apple could finally be responding to what Bloomberg describes as “concerns from lawmakers probing potential antitrust violations in the technology industry.” Google’s Android platform is far more flexible in this regard, allowing users to select the default application for most core device functions.
iPhones also try their damnedest to open Apple Maps instead of Google Maps at every venture, which would hopefully also be changed in iOS 14. Apple Maps has got a lot better since its inception, but Google Maps is still the preferred map app of choice.
It’s within Apple’s interests to keep users on its own first party apps if it can but it might finally be the time where the company is forced to admit that its smartphone and tablet are so popular that such coercing is detrimental to industry competition.