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iOS 14.3 isn’t available to consumers yet, but developers have access to a beta release of the mobile operating system and it includes a new feature: third-party app options during setup.
As 9To5Mac reports, the new feature isn’t working yet, but the beta code includes a new menu used during the setup process for an iPhone or iPad. The menu contains suggestions for alternative apps offered by third-party developers that a user can choose to use as their default for various media content and services.
There’s also evidence to suggest this new setup feature is a response to Apple being investigated for anti-competitive behavior. That’s because the code includes the message, “In compliance with regional legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download.” So it seems likely the setup options will only appear in regions of the world where choice is being enforced, or at least recommended to circumvent any potential legal action.
We’ve seen this happen before as a response to antitrust investigations. Microsoft introduced a web browser selection screen to Windows in certain regions of the world, and Google did a similar thing with web browser and search engine options on Android devices across Europe. By offering a choice, these companies can argue the user is in control and there is no competitive advantage.
As it’s the European Union probing Apple over antitrust allegations, it seems likely the app selection menu will appear in EU countries first. Third-party app developers will be very keen to appear on the menu, as it could lead to thousands of installs that otherwise wouldn’t happen.
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