Apple considers letting iPhone users change their default apps

Joanna Estrada
February 22, 2020

As Spotify has complained, the App Store charges developers a 30 per cent commission on sales through Apple's payment system-in Spotify's case, that means Apple would gobble up a chunk of Spotify's premium $US9.99 ($15) monthly membership rates while Apple quietly collects its own equally-priced Apple Music subscription in full.

There's no indication in the Bloomberg report that Apple will be opening the gates to the AltStore any time soon, nor does this seem created to bolster independent developers. As it stands, Apple doesn't allow users to replace pre-installed apps like Safari and Mail with third-party services, opening it up to scrutiny from lawmakers investigating antitrust violations.

Apple has yet to officially comment on the report.

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On macOS, even though you do not have complete freedom, you can still set a default browser to something other than Safari. The company has always been scrutinized for locking in its native apps as default without giving users the option to change them.

For instance, if you delete the Mail app and then click on an email address somewhere, the phone would prompt an error instead of opening a different email app. However, if Apple does indeed open the gates to its virtual wall, we may get to see the new kids on Apple's block this year itself with the upcoming iOS 14 software update, the report added. Apple is also considering bringing the music changes to its HomePod smart speaker, allowing third-party music services to run natively on the device. Now you can only use their Safari browser or mail app by default.

App makers have accused Apple in the past of anti-competitive practices with apps on the iPhone and iPad. Previous year streaming music giant Spotify submitted a complaint to European regulators alleging Apple was breaking antitrust rules by not allowing its service to be the default music service Apple's Siri uses. And it's not going to completely open the floodgates anytime soon.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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