APPLE IS PLANNING to ease its stranglehold on default apps and by allowing Siri to better integrate with third-party software.
Right now, when you bark at Siri to start a call or send a message, the digital assistant will fire open the system defaults - Apple's Phone and iMessage apps. If you want to use a third-party app, such as WhatsApp or Skype, you'll have to specifically say that in your request.
That could be about to change, according to Bloomberg, which reports that Apple will release an update later this year that will enable Siri to open third-party apps by default, starting with messaging and phone apps.
The new system, which will be applied on a per-contact basis, will require developers to enable the new Siri functionality in their apps.
Following the feature's initial rollout in "late 2019", Apple will reportedly allow third-party apps to become iOS defaults for other purposes, such as photos, mail, and calendar functionality.
In a lengthy statement that says absolutely nothing, an Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg: "Apple offers our users an experience that is only possible from the integration of hardware, software, and services.
"From the very first iPhone, we have included apps to provide customers with a great experience right out of the box for making phone calls, playing music, surfing the web, and more. With every generation of iPhone, we have advanced the built-in capabilities for our customers with a few default apps designed for great performance, long battery life, seamless integration, and industry-leading protections for security and privacy.
"We have also created the App Store, the safest place to get apps, so customers can choose from millions of apps to find the ones that further enhance their iPhone. In the few categories where Apple also has an app, we have many successful competitors and we're proud that their success is responsible for almost two million jobs in a thriving multibillion-dollar market for developers."
Apple's planned move to ease-up on default apps follows a separate Bloomberg report that shows the advantage Apple's apps gain over third-party defaults by being the preinstalled defaults on iOS devices.
This hasn't gone unnoticed by regulators; in May, the European Commission announced plans to launch a formal antitrust investigation against Apple following a complaint from Spotify, and a panel the US House of Representatives is currently probing Apple's use of default apps to stifle potential competition. µ
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