Anonymous sources told Bloomberg that Apple was taking into consideration the possibility of offering users the option to select third-party apps as their default on its iPhones, which means that a user could no longer use the Safari mobile browser or the Mail email application.
At the moment, Apple mobile devices handle the company’s own apps as the default in various manners. For instance, when someone launches a web link on an iPhone, it automatically opens in Safari.
Considering Music App Changes As Well
The Cupertino-based company is also allegedly considering limitations on third-party music apps, such as its mainstreaming rival, Spotify, on its HomePod home speakers. At the moment, if someone asks Siri to play a certain song on a HomePad, it automatically streams through Apple Music. If the company decides to loosen this constraint, HomePod will be able to stream music via other apps, such as Spotify or Pandora, when users would ask Siri to play a song.
Bloomberg stated that the implementations could come with iOS 14, which is scheduled to launch later this year. If the above happens, it would be a rather radical change for a company that has always controlled the way users experience its devices with a firm hand. It also created a close ecosystem containing its software and hardware experiences. This system often has estranged owners of Android devices, who have greater flexibility and choice, besides price and reasons to go for mobile devices running Google‘s OS.
Apple Faces Intense Scrutiny
Apple also happens to face a flood of antitrust scrutiny regarding forcing its own services on iOS users to the detriment of its rivals. Back in November, U.S. lawmakers questioned Apple on, besides other issues, its indisposition to allow users to uninstall Safari and the unwillingness to enable other web browsers to use their own web-browsing engines when operating on Apple’s OS.
The company’s responses to these questions cited themes such as functionality, privacy, as well as security. It also denied complaints of anticompetitive behavior.