Bloomberg: Apple Considering Allowing Users To Set Their Preferred Default Apps

Apple is considering allowing users to set third-party apps as default apps, replacing its own stock applications such as Safari and Mail, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In addition, the company is also said to be considering open HomePod smart speakers to third-party music services such as Spotify, thus far, HomePod can only interact with Apple Music.

Developers can provide alternative Web browsers in the App Store, but they must all be based on the WebKit rendering engine. Similarly, there are many competing email apps available in the App Store, but shortcuts to writing new emails will only show Apple's own Mail app.

However, it now seems that Apple is beginning to seriously consider whether to open up its operating system and allow other apps to become users' preferences, rather than Safari and Mail.

The iPhone maker is also contemplating let music playback requests sent to Siri flow to third-party music apps (such as Spotify or Amazon Music) without having to explicitly specify in each request, for instance, the name of the app.

Bloomberg went on to say that Apple is working to improve support for other music services to run locally on HomePod, meaning that HomePod users can request music directly from Spotify, which is also a practical reason why Spotify previously complained to the EU about Apple.

In March last year, Spotify filed a complaint with the EU antitrust regulator against Apple, alleging that Apple was treating its competitors unfairly in order to promote its own music streaming service. Spotify claims that Apple's control of its App Store not only deprives consumers of their choices, but also deprives other streaming music service providers of their rights. Apple is doing this solely to serve its own streaming music service, Apple Music.

If Apple actually did launch these capabilities in the future, it could be announced as a new feature in iOS 14 at WWDC in June of this year. But, at this point, Apple is still observing the above issues and has not made a final decision.

Image Via Unsplash

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