Apple’s virtual WWDC is underway with all the company’s new software updates announced in pre-recorded keynotes. iOS 14 adds a ton of new flashy features (some of which are familiar to Android users), but one of the smaller changes is one that we are glad to finally see – the ability to choose the default apps for email and browser.
Until now, iPhones default to Mail and Safari when you tap to send an email or open a web link respectively. Links only open in Chrome when you’re in Gmail, for example and there was no system-wide way to change the default. Apple did this to encourage you to keep you in its own first party apps.
Aside from the fact this is quite annoying if you want to use Chrome or Firefox and yet your phone keep opening Safari, Apple and others are subject to an ongoing US investigation that looks into competition in tech.
This new change will theoretically help to ensure iOS is a more balanced and open platform.
Developers will reportedly have to submit requests to Apple to be regarded as default options, so your favourite might not appear immediately if you download an early iOS 14 beta.
Devs have to offer their apps up for email or browser default status, so don’t freak out if you don’t see the functionality surfaced immediately in the betas. https://t.co/Xw2jJRNS8P— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) June 22, 2020
Android of course lets you pick your defaults, as does Windows, but so does the Mac. It’s just been iOS that has held out this long to give people a choice on the matter.
As with many iOS updates, the majority of people with iPhones probably haven’t noticed or ever thought this was an issue. But we reckon it’s one of the best new things about iOS 14.
The software will be available to download as a free public beta next month before its general realse with a new slew of iPhones later in the year.