Apple will finally let iPhone and iPad users set third-party browsers and email apps as default with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.
Apple announced iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 last night at its WWDC 2020 opening keynote “online” event. There’s a lot to look forward to, in the days to come, if you own an iPhone 6S and above or an iPad Air 2 and above, thanks to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. But there’s one thing that probably slipped under the radar amid all the talk about home screens and how Apple plans to make its devices even more secure and private with the next major update to iOS and iPadOS. In a first, Apple will finally let iPhone and iPad users set third-party browsers and email apps as default.
This is possibly one of the biggest changes coming to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Until now, Apple did not let you change “any” default app on the iPhone and iPad, which meant Apple Mail and Safari were your only options. Starting with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, users will be able to switch their default mail and browser apps to say Gmail or Outlook, Firefox or Chrome. It seems Apple is only letting you change defaults to mail and browser apps for now, but hey, it’s a start.
Apple did not talk about this change at length on stage at WWDC 2020, so it would be understandable if you missed it. But heading over to Apple’s preview pages for its new software gives us a heads-up about what’s coming — including the ability to “set default email and browser apps.” Apple will of course require developers to update their apps to support the new feature but beyond that we know nothing about how all of this will work on an iPhone or iPad. The Verge notes that Apple will require third-party browsers to use its WebKit as their “underlying browsing engine” to be eligible for being a default iPhone or iPad app.
A developer preview of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 is already available and the first public beta is expected to arrive sometime in July. You can read more about iOS 14 and all the cool (many Android-inspired) features that Apple’s new iPhone software will be bringing to the table here. iPadOS 14 is basically iOS 14 with some iPad-specific features such as improved note taking.
All the devices eligible for iOS 14 update:
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE (gen 1), iPhone SE (gen 2), iPod touch (gen 7)
All the devices eligible for iPadOS 14 update:
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (gen 4), iPad Pro 11-inch (gen 2), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (gen 3), iPad Pro 11-inch (gen 1), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (gen 2), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (gen 1), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad (gen 7), iPad (gen 6), iPad (gen 5), iPad mini (gen 5), iPad mini 4, iPad Air (gen 3), iPad Air 2