Apple considering allowing third-party apps to replace defaults on iOS, HomePod

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2020
The HomePod may be opened up to third-party music services, and Apple may also allow iOS users to permanently swap the default email and browser apps for alternatives.




Following criticism of its allegedly preferring first-party apps over that of its competitors, Apple is reportedly considering letting users change their default apps and music services. Rather than the HomePod being primarily for Apple Music, for instance, users may in future be able to default to Spotify, without specifically addressing it.

Similarly, according to Bloomberg, Apple is contemplating allowing iOS users to replace default apps with alternatives. So instead of Mail, users could have Gmail, and instead of the Safari browser, they could have Chrome.

Users can already have these apps, but they are not the defaults. That's more significant than just Apple prominently displaying its own apps, they are baked into iOS. If a website contains an email link, tapping it on an iOS device will currently always open Apple Mail.

Following specific complaints by Spotify, Apple updated iOS to allow users to be able to ask for music to be played from that service. However, it can't replace Apple Music as the default, as users must explicitly ask Siri to play from Spotify. Then, too, the function only works on iOS devices, not yet HomePod or Mac.

This isn't the first time that it has been reported that Apple was considering such a move, so at present it isn't clear if the discussions cited on Friday are new, or ongoing. More recently, and on a smaller scale, Apple has previously been reported to be considering allowing users to replace the standard Messages app with WhatsApp, though in a limited message-by-message way.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Ah … Bloomberg. 

    Move along, folks! Just a dead pigeon; nothing to see here! 
    razorpitBeatsDancingMonkeysmdriftmeyerwilliamlondonurahara
  • Reply 2 of 59
    Spotify are exceedingly optimistic - having the option to switch default associations wouldn't lead to an increase in subscribers. If anything the status-quo harms HomePod sales.

    While we are at it, can we get the Google search page show a list of alternative browsers other than Chrome?



    razorpitBeats
  • Reply 3 of 59
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member

    While we are at it, can we get the Google search page show a list of alternative browsers other than Chrome?



    Gatorbait
    razorpitBeatsMacPrololliver
  • Reply 4 of 59
    Apple allowing users choice of default core apps like Mail and Safari would be monumental... and great. Add Maps and it would be fantastic.  
    williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 59
    I don’t use third party apps for browsing, messaging, or email but I can imagine how thoroughly irritating iOS must be for people who do. 
    sidricthevikingwilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 59
    Are they getting nervous over possible EU antitrust sanctions and fines?
    CloudTalkinwilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 59
    ElCapitan said:
    Are they getting nervous over possible EU antitrust sanctions and fines?
    Keeping in mind this is a Bloomberg rumor, if true, I'd think antitrust considerations would be the motivating factor here.  It would be a helluva lot better to get out ahead of any forced compliance which would likely be accompanied by fines.  Voluntarily increasing user options seems to be infinitely more desirable since it would effectively cut the talk of antitrust issues off before they get properly started.

    Bonus: it would increase user choice.  
    ElCapitanmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 59
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    ElCapitan said:
    Are they getting nervous over possible EU antitrust sanctions and fines?

    I hope not. If you let a government bully you, what next?iPhone allowing the knockoff iOS/Android to run? Google allowing Bing or Yahoo to run instead? Wal Mart allowing 3rd party store brands to shelves?

    Of course Apple envy seems to be the reason only Apple is demanded such ridiculous rules. Inventing iPhone seems to be one of the most envious things Apple ever did.
  • Reply 9 of 59
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    There goes the ecosystem.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 59
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    lkrupp said:
    There goes the ecosystem.
    This has existed on macOS for as long as I remember and that ecosystem still kicks ass. Except for the lack of Back to My Mac (which was more of a Mobile Me and iCloud service), I really have no complaints about macOS*.

    * I've long since given up on Finder being able to save window sizes and positions. #FTFF
    edited February 2020 MplsPElCapitan
  • Reply 11 of 59
    Apple allowing users choice of default core apps like Mail and Safari would be monumental... and great. Add Maps and it would be fantastic.  
    Maps on a HomePod? How does that work?
  • Reply 12 of 59
    Sounds like the right thing to do.  They will likely be forced to do this eventually.  Might as well do it on your own terms.  Particularly for Mail and Maps, I'm sure this is a point of frustration for some users that could lead to Android looking more attractive to them.
    gatorguywilliamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 59
    Apple allowing users choice of default core apps like Mail and Safari would be monumental... and great. Add Maps and it would be fantastic.  
    Maps on a HomePod? How does that work?
    Not sure if serious since no emoji.  If you are, it helps to read the article, as well as the headline more carefully.  To be fair, the headline is awkwardly written.
  • Reply 14 of 59
    Won't happen. Mark Gurman and Bloomberg have zero credibility.
    SpamSandwichwilliamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 59
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,954member
    Apple allowing users choice of default core apps like Mail and Safari would be monumental... and great. Add Maps and it would be fantastic.  
    Maps on a HomePod? How does that work?
    It will use it's room-mapping capabilities to project an auditory 3D image of the map!
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 16 of 59
    lkrupp said:
    There goes the ecosystem.
    Not at all. More and better choices is a good thing. Shouldn’t be restricted to something some people don’t want to use. 
    lolliverwilliamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 59
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    esummers said:
    Sounds like the right thing to do.  They will likely be forced to do this eventually.  Might as well do it on your own terms.  Particularly for Mail and Maps, I'm sure this is a point of frustration for some users that could lead to Android looking more attractive to them.

    Just makes Android that much closer to being an iPhone. How does that help Apple? Heck the original iPhone wasn't even going to allow 3rd parties. Apple created one of the biggest markets in human history with App Store and this is how unappreciative people are.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    Apple allowing users choice of default core apps like Mail and Safari would be monumental... and great. Add Maps and it would be fantastic.  
    Maps on a HomePod? How does that work?
    You put it in your car in the front seat and it tells you when you missed the turn. It also lets you use the carpool lane. 
    /s
    SpamSandwichCloudTalkinIreneWboltsfan17
  • Reply 19 of 59
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,277member

    While we are at it, can we get the Google search page show a list of alternative browsers other than Chrome?



    Not entirely certain I understand what it is you want. I can't imagine a Google Search box being allowed in a Bing or DDG browser.

    If you're in Europe you will have that option if using Google's native OS (Android). There will be several 3rd party browsers to choose from as a default search provider, varying by region. Is that what you mean? I know it seems to make sense that it's Google's Android (not the open-source version) and their own apps being default would be expected just as iOS uses Apple's own first-party apps, but it's still disagreeable to the EU authorities who consider it anticompetitive.

    Just as Apple is being pressured into doing this now, Google was the EU's first target and the reason for having a choice of default browsers on Android. Left on their own I doubt either Google or Apple would be considering allowing defaults to anything other than their own first party services except in minor instances,  altho Android is more agreeable to using 3rd party apps to replace first-party services.
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 20 of 59
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,337member
    ElCapitan said:
    Are they getting nervous over possible EU antitrust sanctions and fines?

    Why?  You can airplay from any service to your Homepod using a mac or IOS device. It may not be ideal for some, but it's not impossible.
    I believe that not being able to use Siri to invoke another service to play music on HP was the issue. Not an issue for me but for others..

    Personally being able to choose my iPhone from my watch and then airplaying to my Homepod and using the Watch to control volume and what is playing, without needing to talk out loud to Siri or touch my phone or the homepod is fantastic. 

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