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.


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

(View all)
Avatar
12 weeks 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)
Avatar
12 weeks 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)
Avatar
12 weeks 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)
Avatar
12 weeks 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)
Avatar
12 weeks 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)
Avatar
12 weeks 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)

Top Stories

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

Friday October 23, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W. The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow. We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the...

MagSafe Charger Teardown Reveals Simple Design With Magnets and Charging Coil Encircling a Small Circuit Board

Friday October 23, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
iFixit has today shared a teardown of Apple's new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. An X-ray of the MagSafe charger courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the internal charging coil surrounded by a circular arrangement of magnets within the puck. The only seam that iFixit was able to leverage to open the device was where the white rubber circle meets the metal rim,...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

iFixit Shares Full iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Teardown Revealing Interchangeable Displays and Batteries

Saturday October 24, 2020 1:48 pm PDT by
After live streaming a teardown of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro earlier this week, iFixit today provided a more in-depth teardown that goes through all of the components in the new devices, revealing several similarities between the two. Early testing conducted by iFixit shows that the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro displays are interchangeable and can be swapped without issue, though the max...