Joe Biden wants Apple to free your iPhone from App Store lockdown

Joe Biden wants Apple to free your iPhone from App Store lockdown

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration released a report today (opens in a new tab) that indicates that Apple’s iOS App Store on devices such as the iPhone and iPad ‘iPad, along with Google’s rival store on Android, “has the potential to harm consumers by inflating prices and reducing innovation.” He recommends some major changes in the way you use your iPhone.

The survey results apparently determined that the way Apple distributes apps on its iPhone means “innovators have very limited ways to reach consumers.” Additionally, Apple and Google “create barriers for developers to compete for consumers by imposing technical limits, such as restricting how apps work or requiring developers to go through slow and opaque review processes.” .

The report says that while there are some benefits, including better security, it says “the costs far outweigh the benefits and privacy and security protections can still be achieved in a more competitive environment.” .

Joe Biden’s iPhone diary

As such, the NTIA and the Biden administration recommend a series of sweeping changes:

Consumers should have more control over their devices – the report says you should be able to choose default apps for messaging and web browsing (you can already do this on iPhone), use other mobile app stores and remove pre-installed apps such as Notes or Apple Music. App store operators should not be able to “favorite” their apps in an anti-competitive way – report says Apple and Google should not be able to favor their own apps in App Store searches or discriminate against similar apps Carriers should lift restrictions on other ways consumers can download and install apps – report says users should be Apple shouldn’t not be able to restrict sideloading (downloading an application from s somewhere other than the App Store), alternative app stores, and web apps. Addressing limits on in-app purchase options – the report says requirements that developers use something like in-app purchases on iOS should be prohibited.

“We appreciate the report’s recognition of the importance of user privacy, data security and user convenience,” an Apple spokesperson told iMore in a statement. “Nevertheless, we respectfully disagree with a number of conclusions drawn in the report, which ignore the investments we make in innovation, privacy and security – all of which contribute to why users love the iPhone and create a level playing field for small developers on a safe and reliable platform.

If the changes were made, it could open up a plethora of new app stores on iOS from companies like Meta (Facebook and Instagram), Epic Games, Spotify and others to name a few. It would also mean that consumers would have to enter payment information in multiple ways and could download apps directly from the web like they can on the Mac.

The iOS App Store is fundamental to the current user experience on Apple’s top iPhones like the iPhone 14. Sweeping legislation to this degree could completely change the way we use our iPhones.

More interestingly, the NTIA also makes these recommendations for Google even though Android is far less restrictive, already allowing both sideloading and alternative app stores. We contacted Apple about the NTIA report today.

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