For a long time, Apple has pushed those who buy into the iOS ecosystem into using its own pre-installed apps. For example, while alternative browsers do exist on iOS, links will always open in Safari by default, forcing users to go out of their way to open a different browser if they prefer that experience. That could be set to change soon, though, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report claims that Apple is considering opening up the ecosystem to let users choose third-party default apps for browsing the web or managing your e-mail accounts in iOS 14. That means you'd no longer be forced into Safari and Mail, and it would be a big boon for companies that offer alternatives, such as Microsoft's Edge and Outlook, or Google's Chrome and Gmail. Ultimately, it would allow users to move to iOS-based devices without being pushed out of the ecosystem they're used to.
That's not all, either. The report goes on to say that Apple is working to enable third-party music apps, like Spotify, to be used on its HomePod speakers, lifting yet another restriction of its hardware. What's more, Siri might also be able to use Spotify as the default music player instead of Apple Music.
All of this is reportedly under consideration, but nothing is set in stone when it comes to the development of iOS 14. Apple typically introduces new versions of its software at WWDC in June, and we probably won't know if this is true before then. It wouldn't be completely surprising if Apple were to open up its ecosystem, though. It took the company a few years to allow third-party keyboard apps to be installed on iOS 8, despite Android phones supporting it for a long time prior to that.