According to a recent report by Bloomberg, Apple is considering giving users the option to switch their default apps on their devices. Apple has often been scrutinised for providing an unfair advantage to its own native apps and services, and the upcoming change could be a step to counter antitrust concerns.
Typically, iOS would launch Safari and Mail by default without giving an option for users to pick other alternatives such as Chrome or Gmail as their preferred app option. Although you can still download and install 3rd party applications, the experience isn’t as integrated and seamless compared to native apps.
It was reported that Apple’s act of not allowing 3rd party apps as default was questioned during a hearing of a US House of Representatives antitrust panel. Several lawmakers have pressed whether iPhone users are allowed to make non-Apple apps as their default choice in various categories including web browser, maps, email and music. According to Bloomberg, Apple pre-installs as much as 38 default apps on iPhone and iPad devices which include Safari, Maps, Messages and Mail.
The move to open up default app preference would also be good news for apps such as Spotify. The music streaming service which launched multiple attacks against Apple could potentially be allowed to stream directly to Apple’s HomePod speaker. At the moment, users that want to play music on the HomePod via 3rd party streaming apps can only do so by streaming through their iPhone or iPad. Of course, this isn’t an ideal experience compared to Apple Music which can be stream directly. The same limitation is also found on Siri as the voice assistant will only entertain music requests for Apple Music.
Apple had previously responded to Spotify’s antitrust complaints by accusing it of wanting all the benefits of a free app without being free. On the allegation that Apple is getting a huge cut, the Cupertino company clarified that less than 1% of Spotify Premium subscribers are paying the 15% fee.
What do you think? Will you replace Safari and Mail as your default apps if you’re given the option? Let us know in the comments below.