A bill introduced by the US House would prohibit Apple and Google from preinstalling their own apps, in an effort to reign in Big Tech.
Regulators are looking with increased scrutiny at Big Tech and trying to introduce measures to curb their power and influence. As part of a group of five bills, one in particular would place strict limits on so-called “first-party” apps — those that come preinstalled on a device or platform.
If the bill becomes law, companies like Apple would be prohibited from installing their own software on devices, such as the iPhone and iPad, and instead simply make them available for download. This would, in theory, put the company’s apps on the same footing as third-party options.
“It would be equally easy to download the other five apps as the Apple one so they’re not using their market dominance to favor their own products and services,” said Representative David Cicilline, according to Bloomberg.
As with most solutions, it’s far from a perfect outcome. For example, this writer specifically uses Apple products and software, as opposed to Google’s, because of the superior privacy and integration Apple’s apps offer. If I wanted to use Google’s apps…I would purchase an Android phone, and I suspect many Android users feel the same way in reverse.
For users like us, the added step will be an unwelcome inconvenience.