What happens to iPhone owners when you send them a link in an email? As anyone with an iPhone can tell you, the link opens in the Safari app. This might sound all well and good, but there’s one little problem: Safari isn’t everyone’s browser of choice.
Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t give users a lot of leeway when it comes to customizing default apps. For example, if you ask Siri to give you directions, the phone automatically pops open Apple Maps — a program many users consider to be inferior to Google Maps. Tap or click here to see why.
But this could be changing very soon. In a future iOS, Apple may finally allow users to change the default apps on their phones and tablets. If this change comes to pass, Apple Maps will no doubt see a steep decline in users. But Apple still has room to benefit from all this. Here’s how.
Is Apple finally listening?
According to reports from Bloomberg, Apple is finally considering loosening the restrictions it places on third-party apps.
Until now, third-party apps could not be set as default programs to use with Siri or Apple Mail. If the changes go through in a new iOS, users will be able to set up software like Google Chrome, Google Maps or Waze as defaults.
This is a huge departure from Apple’s “walled garden” approach, which lets the company set the pace and tone of its software ecosystem. Operating systems like Android allow this kind of customization by default, so it’s good to see Apple finally playing catch-up and listening to consumers.
This new initiative offers a more personalized experience with its phones. If applied, this update would prove a major victory for consumer choice against Apple. Tap or click to see how Apple previously waged war on self-repair.
If Apple goes forward with this concept, we could see the option available as soon as iOS 14, the next edition of iOS, which is expected to arrive this fall. No confirmations about features or further details about iOS 14 are available at this time.
Why the change of heart?
Apple doesn’t just make bold moves like this out of the kindness of its heart. Remember, this is the same company that claimed to be “courageous” for ditching the headphone jack.
Instead, the move comes in light of sluggish sales from Apple’s HomePod system. Out of the box, the HomePod can only play music via Apple Music — and nothing else. The same goes for Siri questions, which rely exclusively on Apple-branded apps for content.
As it stands, Apple Music’s current subscriber numbers are dwarfed by more popular services like Pandora and Spotify. Apple reportedly believes that by ditching the status quo, it could attract more users and inject some life into the doddering HomePod market share.
So in the end, an act of self-preservation may end up benefiting users in the long run. Who would have guessed?
Still, this isn’t the first time Apple caved to consumer demand. Just a few short years ago, Apple Retail Stores were the only game in town for repairs. Now, your options are far more flexible. Tap or click here to find out how to get on-site repairs for your Apple gadgets.