Iphone RussiaSource: iPhones.ru

What you need to know

  • Apple now complies with laws in Russia about pre-installing apps on devices like the iPhone.
  • Users setting up a new device are now met with an App Store splash screen with options to install Russian-made apps.

A big new change to the way Apple devices are set up in Russia went live on Thursday, as the company looks to comply with laws in the country about pre-installing Russian-made apps, which came into force on Thursday.

Changes were made server-side overnight to the setup process on the iPhone and can be seen in images shared to iMore by Nikita Goryainov from iPhones.ru.

Iphone RussiaSource: iPhones.ru

Now, users are greeted with a new App Store splash screen after the 'Welcome to iPhone' setup message which states:

App Store In compliance with Russian legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download.

Users are then met with an App Store screen with a list of 12 apps including Yandex Browser and Yandex.Maps as well as messaging service ICQ and Mail.ru.

Russia Apps InstallSource: iPhones.ru

As you can see, the changes made by Apple are much less severe and significant than it was perhaps once thought. Even though Russian laws specifically refer to the "pre-installation" of apps, these apps do not come pre-downloaded onto iOS devices, but are rather prompts for users should they wish to opt-in to download them. The change is even different from previous reports that users would be greeted with a check-box for each app that would already be ticked, at least making the downloads opt-out, rather than opt-in.

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Speaking to iMore Goryainov notes there is even an 'X' in the top right-hand corner where you can skip the process altogether, leading him to believe that lawmakers might not be best pleased with the changes Apple has made, especially in contrast to a vendor like Samsung, which forces the installation of Russia's Yandex apps and doesn't allow users to delete them.