Apple may soon allow its users to choose rival/ third-party applications as a default service instead of its stock applications. The company is reportedly considering the move following criticism of providing an unfair advantage to its in-house apps, reported Bloomberg.
Apple is known for its closed ecosystem and not allowing users to choose rival apps over its pre-installed applications as default apps. Currently, if a user taps on a link, the website loads on Apple’s in-house Safari browser. The same occurs when the user taps on an email address, after which they’ll be sent to the stock Mail application. Allowing third-party applications to be set as a default would allow users to choose between Safari or popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Gmail over Apple Mail.
The Cupertino-based tech giant may also lift restrictions on third-party music streaming apps like Spotify on its smart speaker, HomePod. Spotify had, last year, submitted an antitrust complaint to the European Union stating that Apple imposed 30 percent cut for subscriptions via the App Store. Apple, in its defence, responded saying Spotify wanted the benefits of the App Store without paying for them. Spotify, then, decided to skip providing its streaming services on the HomePod.
The report mentioned that Apple is working to allow such third-party music streaming applications to run directly on HomePod. This could essentially be a good idea as HomePod, which currently only supports Apple Music, as it means a larger net scope of potential customers who stream music on third-party applications.
The report notes that these changes are currently under discussion and in the early stages. If Apple does decide to loosen up its restrictions, it could allow third-party applications to be set as default starting iOS 14.