What you need to know
- It's taken a long time but you can replace Safari on your iPhone and iPad.
- Or, you will be able to once iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 ship.
- Chrome has been updated to allow it to be set as the default browser.
When Apple announced iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 one of the changes we were all so pleased to see was the ability to set new apps as email and browser defaults. No more tapping an email address or URL and having Mail or Safari kick in when you don't want them. Apps need to be updated to support the new feature and Chrome now has been. And life is good.
Anyone running the iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 beta can now take the updated Chrome for a spin and, yes, set it as their default browser. The release notes for the snappily-version-numbered 85.0.4183.109 don't mention the change yet – because they can't until iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 launch – but trust me, it's there. I've tested it and it's as good as we'd hoped!
Those running the betas can open the Settings app and then tap Chrome > Default Browser App to make their selection. Sure, it's a fairly small thing in the grand scheme of things but it makes the world of difference if you've been fighting with Safari.
Now we just need developers of the popular email apps to get their updates ready and we won't have anything left to complain about, will we?
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.