Apple should be more accommodating to third party developers on its platforms

Spotify (Image credit: iMore)

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?

Your thoughts?

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.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.

  • This is all true. It was true years ago, and all still true today.
  • The good thing is that iOS gets less restrictive every year, so Apple is heading in the right direction. We might even get default apps in iOS 14, and if not I think it would definitely be in 15, especially given you can remove Apple's apps now.
  • Apple let you set both default web browsers and default email clients on Mac OS. Why is IOS any different?
  • Because they have more of a stranglehold on the smart phone market than they do the PC market. My guess is they'll never give up enough to make your phone truly described as a device for almost everything . I don't think they'll let you set default apps across iOS.
  • I think that will change soon, given you can remove these default apps now. Besides, if the iPad Pro is to truly be Pro, it needs to happen
  • I'm a pixel 2 user and my partner is in iphone 11 user. This is definitely something he likes about my android. This and the app drawer. He feels the way apps are laid out all over the place is not very pleasing to the eye. Also, our notifications are better and more usable. I'm jealous of iMessage. Maybe that will change if RCS ever really rolls out widely. I also like your airdrop functionality too. Just from an Android users prospective it seems like the OS get closer and closer to being similar every update.
  • The app drawer on the iPhone is really outdated now, I don't even use it I just end up finding the app through Spotlight search. Not had a problem with notifications on iOS, I know Android has a lot of flexibility but all of that is just unnecessary for me, the same with the volume controls as well. Some of my family members somehow accidentally turn down the notification sound on their Android phones, and I have to show them how to get it back up again as it's kind of a "hidden" menu, I much prefer the simplicity of the iPhone one.