Apple may (finally!) be on the verge of allowing other apps to be set as the defaults in iOS.
Since iOS was introduced, users have not been able to change the default apps, such as Mail, Safari and Music. While other apps could be installed and used, they could never be set as the defaults. Any clicked web links would still open Safari and any clicked email links would still use Mail. While Safari and Mail are both extremely capable programs, there are other apps that offer different advantages and, in some cases, are better. Microsoft Outlook, for example, routinely wins praise for its features, not to mention integration with the rest of Office.
According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the matter say Apple may finally be ready to give up some control and let users set their preferred apps as the defaults. The move is being considered amid ongoing scrutiny and accusations that Apple’s apps have an unfair advantage over its rivals, an argument that certainly has weight to it. While some tech savvy individuals may opt to use other apps for browsing and email, and jump through the necessary hoops to make it work, the average user will simply use the easiest option.
Apple is also said to be considering a similar change for the music service on the HomePod, as well as letting users change the default music service when using Siri on an iOS device. While the sources say nothing has been finalized, it’s possible these changes could happen later this year.
Apple has been pushing the iPad as a computer replacement for some time. This is an important and necessary step that should have been taken years ago to assist that goal. Hopefully, with new opportunities available, it will further encourage developers to create desktop-class apps in categories they otherwise might have ignored.