A new Bloomberg report by Mark Gurman claims that Apple is considering allowing iPhone and iPad users to select their own default apps for things like browsing the web and reading email.
The report, citing people familiar with the matter but who don’t want to be named, says that there is even the possibility a similar feature could come to the HomePod.
Right now, anyone using an iPhone or iPad must use the default apps Apple chooses. And, of course, those apps are Apple’s. If you create a new email from an email address, it takes you to the Apple Mail app and populates that address. That isn’t possible with third-party apps like Gmail. At least, not right now.
While the App Store is full of third-party competitors to apps like Safari and Mail, users are left to deal with iOS choosing apps for them in certain situations. That’s mightily irritating, and it’s something we’d love to see Apple address.
Interestingly, the same move could come to the HomePod, too. The report notes that Apple is thinking about allowing users to select apps like Spotify for their streaming purposes rather than Apple Music.
The Cupertino, California-based company also is considering loosening restrictions on third-party music apps, including its top streaming rival Spotify Technology SA, on HomePods, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing internal company deliberations.
Apple is currently in the middle of an antitrust investigation, as are many of Silicon Valley’s biggest players. It’s possible that Apple sees this move as a way to help fend off accusations that it prevents users from making their own choices, despite allowing third-party solutions into the App Store.
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