Among the many new features in iOS 14, there is one that has been long overdue: being able to change the default applications. Apple will finally allow this change, but only for two applications: Mail and Safari.
To podcaster Marques Brownlee who tells him of his desire to replace Plans with another app, Craig Federighi declares that Apple begins by responding to the two changes most requested by users. Without closing the door to possible additional replacements, the iOS manager explains that he wants to go carefully to avoid the “Chaos” in the system.
Web browsers and email clients wanting to replace Safari and Mail as their default apps will need to be authorized by Apple. This is to avoid abuse, like a game integrating a simple web view that would replace Safari to gain visibility, justifies Craig Federighi.
Navigators at “General purpose” will receive the green light without any problem, he adds. We can therefore replace Safari with Chrome, Firefox or Opera as the default browser in iOS 14 (this is not yet possible in the beta, for lack of additional validation for the moment). We will have to see how Apple treats specialized browsers, such as those that block ads by default, even if a priori they should be accepted as well.
Choosing the default mail client in iOS 14 will correct an anomaly that has persisted since iOS 10. Since this version, you can delete Mail, but not select another app instead, which gives this ubiquitous situation: when you touch a link in an app to send an email, it is a Mail / iOS window that opens … and which does not allow you to send mail, since your email account was deleted at the same time as Mail.
Increasingly scrutinized for its competitive practices, Apple had defended in late 2019 before American representatives the impossibility of changing the default apps in iOS. The company then argued that “Remove or replace any of these system applications [Safari en fait partie, ndr] would destroy or severely degrade the functionality of the device. “ Apple has finally found a compromise with this double validation system for candidates to replace essential apps.