- A new law in Europe could ban companies such as Apple and Google from pre-installing their own apps on phones, tablets and other devices they sell.
- In particular, an early draft of the Digital Service Act states that technology companies “should not be given the opportunity to pre-install their own applications on hardware drives.”
- The action is expected to be in place in the EU by the end of the year.
Apps pre-installed on smart devices have always been somewhat controversial, especially when Android vendors used to pack their phones and tablets with bloatware. Fortunately, there has been less of a problem in recent years, but even with all the progress that has been made, it is still not enough for Europe.
according to Financial Times (via 9to5Mac), the EU has drafted legislation suggesting that “Big Tech”
Here is the part of the legislation that may change the way Apple, Google and others work:
The draft recommends that Big Tech be banned from favoring their own services on their websites or platforms, to the detriment of competitors, which companies should not be given the opportunity to pre-install their own applications on hardware products, such as laptops or phones, or force other businesses to pre-install their software.
Separately, Brussels wants large platforms to allow users to uninstall pre-installed apps on gadgets such as mobile phones and computers, according to the draft, which remains in its early stages.
As 9to5Mac notes, Apple made it impossible to remove pre-installed apps for years, but finally given in 2017 with the release of iOS 11. iPhone and iPad owners can now delete almost any of Apple’s stock apps, as long as it would not affect any of the device’s basic features, such as deleting the App Store. Apple also added a new feature in iOS 14 that allows users to change the default email and browser apps.
It’s unclear whether these concessions are enough to satisfy potential legislation, but forcing Apple (or any device manufacturer) to ship a phone, tablet or computer without apps or services can be just as much trouble for the end user as it would be for the company in question. Sure, having multiple choices would be nice, but I do not want my next iPhone to be shipped without phone, messages, contacts or the App Store already installed.
According to Euronews, the Digital Service Act is expected to be in place by the end of 2020.