Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail.

safari chrome ios
Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a default email or browser app.

According to Apple, developers will need to meet certain guidelines and when those parameters have been met, there's an option to request a managed entitlement that will allow the app to work in lieu of Apple's own apps.

Default browser apps must provide a text field for entering a URL, search tools for finding relevant links on the internet, or curated lists of bookmarks. When opening a URL, apps must navigate directly to the specified destination and render the expected web content without redirecting to an unexpected location.

Apps designed with parental controls or a locked down mode can, however, restrict navigation. Email apps set as default must be able to send a message to any valid email recipient and must be able to receive a message from any email sender. Apple says that apps that offer user-controlled incoming mail screening features are allowed.

Third-party browser apps set as default will open up automatically when a URL is tapped instead of the Safari app, while third-party email apps will open when a mailto: link is tapped.

Apple's full documentation can be found on its developer website. Apps will need to be updated with entitlements to be able to be set as the default browser or mail app in iOS 14, so no apps have that functionality at the current time.

We should begin seeing apps able to replace Mail or Safari as default apps close to when iOS 14 launches this fall.

Top Rated Comments

Apple_Robert Avatar
19 months ago

Google lovers? How about stop trying to **** on people that prefer something different than you?
What is wrong with Google lovers? People who like Google apps and prefer them over anything else fit the bill. Same thing goes with people who love certain Apple apps or other third party apps.

When you look to be offended, you are never disappointed.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chicago19 Avatar
19 months ago
While I appreciate this, it's still disappointing that they are not allowing music and map app defaults to be changed. Baby steps I suppose.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lounge vibes 05 Avatar
19 months ago
Does all actually sounds very reasonable to me.
Also, am I the only one who’s had to explain time and time again to family members that the Google search app is not a web browser?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gridlocked Avatar
19 months ago

Craig has said “baby steps” in not so many words. He said they plan to open up more areas.
Hopefully Maps/Nav is the next 'baby step'.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
19 months ago
Requirements look reasonable to me. I am so glad Apple is finally allowing this option. I like Safari but, Apple Mail will no longer be by default app on the phone or iPad. I wish that weren’t the case. For me, the stock mail app can’t be depended on with consistency.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
moabal Avatar
19 months ago
Can’t wait to set Outlook as my default email client on my iPhone and iPad!

Edit: FYI, I am not joking. It actually is a pretty good app. A must have for people who use Outlook on their computer.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how the company strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman say that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Max), an updated low-end MacBook Pro, a...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...
apple college discounts

Apple Walks Back UNiDAYS Verification Requirement for U.S. Education Store

Friday January 21, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that customers taking advantage of educational discounts in the United States verify their status as a teacher, student, or school staff member through UNiDAYS. The requirement was a major change as Apple had never asked customers to go through a verification process in the United States before, and now, just three days after verification was added,...