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.
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.
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.
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.