Apple may soon allow iPhone users to set third-party apps as the default apps on the company’s iOS software, reports Bloomberg. Though iPhone users can currently download any third-party app they like, the iOS operating system still defaults to opening links and sending emails in Apple’s Safari and Mail apps on the device.
But according to Bloomberg, this could change as soon as this year—possibly with the release of iOS 14 later this fall. Under the plans, users would be able to select a default app for handling emails, web browsing, and music. This would ensure, for example, that every link tapped on that user’s iPhone would open in Google’s Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox browser instead of Apple’s Safari.
As for music, Apple is also considering letting users select their default music app. Under the plans, when an iPhone user tells iOS’s Siri to play a certain song, instead of playing via the Apple Music app or service on the iPhone, that song would play via the user’s selected third-party music app, such as Spotify or Pandora. Apple is also considering bringing the music changes to its HomePod smart speaker, allowing third-party music services to run natively on the device.
Apple’s consideration to allow third-party apps to act as default apps on the iPhone comes as it and other tech giants face scrutiny from lawmakers over anti-competitive practices. Last 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. If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it’s possible that Apple is trying to get in front of the situation and make changes to default app policies before being forced to by legislators.