Apple has been staring down the barrel of quite a few antitrust investigations this previous yr, after app builders like Spotify and Rakuten accused the corporate of unfairly advantaging Apple’s personal apps forward of theirs. But Apple is seemingly engaged on a new characteristic that might tackle no less than one of many widespread concerns, by proactively suggesting third-party apps (apps that Apple doesn’t make) to iPhone and iPad customers once they first arrange their units. Will Apple counsel Spotify alongside Apple Music? That could possibly be on the desk.
9to5Mac noticed the characteristic within the new iOS 14.3 beta, and it appears fairly clear from the accompanying textual content that the characteristic is designed to fulfill nations who take a dim view of Apple’s present stance. “In compliance with regional legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download,” reads a part of the code, suggesting that it’ll solely be rolled out in areas the place Apple feels compelled to achieve this.
Assuming Apple really makes the characteristic a actuality in a future model of iOS, it might not be sufficient to fulfill a number of the firms which have spoken out towards Apple, although. For one factor, the iPhone’s default set of apps is just one place the place, they argue, Apple provides itself an edge. Apple has additionally been accused of prioritizing its personal content material in search — although Apple says that’s not true — and in contrast to modifications to search, a one-time try to suggest a small handful of apps to customers who stick to the onboarding course of wouldn’t make as a lot of an impression.
But Apple does appear to be making a couple of such change this yr; in iOS 14, it lastly allows you to set your personal default browser and electronic mail apps — although it has run into just a few bugs there.
Apple’s additionally combating a considerably completely different antitrust battle with Epic Games over Fortnite, and it’s been underneath fireplace for its stewardship over the App Store for some time. Recently, Apple modified a few of its App Store guidelines to enable a number of the sorts of apps that it had blocked or tried to take away — when blocking them led to undesirable consideration.
Apple didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.