About a year ago, Spotify filed a complaint with the European Union, claiming that Apple was exhibiting anticompetitive behavior. Today, Spotify Technology SA Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek said that there is finally some progress being made.
Spotify had previously accused Apple of being anti-competitive due to limiting the functionality of Spotify on the Apple Watch, as well as with Siri, and the 30% cut from App Store subscriptions to the streaming music service. But Apple has recently allowed Spotify to stream directly on the Apple Watch and have Siri support, so it's a good start.
Apple should welcome competition, not restrict it
It's understandable why Apple would exhibit some anti-competitive practices in the past — after all, the App Store is its own digital storefront, and they have full control of what is allowed to go in there. But honestly, a little competition is good for everyone involved, especially third party developers and consumers.
I personally use Apple Music myself, because originally I wanted to be able to tell Siri what I wanted to listen to in the car, and stuff like that. The main reason why I chose to subscribe to Apple Music because this functionality wasn't available for other music streaming services like Spotify. But now that Spotify has that Siri functionality, it could be one reason why I would consider switching (hypothetically).
Another reason that Apple should ease up on the restrictions for third-party developers is the fact that Apple's services are never a one-size-fits-all solution. Sure, it may be the "easiest" for Apple users because it's integrated so tightly into the ecosystem, but I am a firm believer of choice. One app or service isn't going to be the best for everyone, so there should definitely be more options available to customers.
Plus, every service has its own strengths and weaknesses — Apple could learn a thing or two from Spotify, I'm sure.
Apple should let us choose default apps
Speaking of choice, I think it's time that Apple let us choose what our default apps are. This circles back to the whole "opening up functionality" for third-party apps that Apple seems to be doing, at least with Spotify so far. After all, if Apple is allowing Spotify and Pandora to stream directly from the Apple Watch now, and giving Siri support, then perhaps anything is possible.
I've been wanting to change default email apps for a long time because the default Mail app just doesn't cut it for me. And I would love to use a third-party browser app like Google Chrome instead of Safari.
Hopefully, one day, Apple will allow this to happen. One can continue to dream, right?
At the end of the day, Apple can choose to do what it wants, but I honestly think that competition benefits everyone. Third-party developers should have a more fair playing ground for their apps and services, customers should have a choice, and Apple can learn a thing or two from competitors to improve their own services. And for the love of god, let us choose default apps at some point.