Apple Reportedly Considering Allowing Third-Party Default Apps on iOS

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Apple Reportedly Considering Allowing Third-Party Default Apps on iOS
Number 1054
Broadcast Date FEBRUARY 20, 2020
Episode Length 5:00
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

Apple is reportedly considering opening up iOS to third-party default apps, the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Amazon looking into Ring municipal partnerships, and HTC announces new Cosmos VR headsets.


Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple is considering letting users set third-party web browser and email defaults in iOS, as well as allowing direct integration of 3rd party music services on HomePod, according to sources. Apple's prohibition against 3rd party defaults on iOS was questioned last year at a hearing by the U.S. House of Representatives antitrust panel and Spotify filed an antitrust complaint about Apple's App Store policies and lack of HomePod access to the EU. According to sources, Apple has not reached a decision on whether to change its 3rd party default policy, but changes could be rolled out as early as iOS 14.
The US House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Amazon looking into Ring's partnerships with local governments and police departments, as well as its data collection policies. The letter asks for records of all Ring agreements with cities and law enforcement, all instances of police departments requesting footage, all third-parties Ring shared footage or personal data with, and whether municipal partners also pay for Amazon's Rekognition facial recognition service. The letter asks for a briefing on privacy and security from Ring by February 27th, and answers to all questions by March 4th. Ring stated it's reviewing the letter and intends to respond.
TikTok announced a new set of parental controls, called “Family Safety Mode,” so parents can set limits on their children’s app use. The features include screen-time management controls, limits on direct messages and a restricted mode that limits the appearance of inappropriate content. These features were already available in the app for users to set for themselves, this allows a parent or guardian to take over toggling the switches on or off for their teens. The new features are available in the UK now and will roll out to other markets over the next several weeks.
Morgan Stanley announced it intends to acquire the online brokerage E-Trade in a deal worth $13 billion. The deal would give Morgan Stanley an additional 5.2 million customers and $360 billion in assets. The deal still needs approval of E-Trade shareholders and regulators. E-Trade CEO Michael Pizzi will continue to run the business post-acquisition.
Google updated the support page for YouTube Music showing how to upload your own music files to the service, although the feature does not appear to be rolling out yet. Users can drag and drop files though the site, with support for FLAC, M4A, MP3, OGG, and WMA. Uploads can be listened to on YouTube Music version 3.51 or later ad-free with no subscription. The support page also says Google will provide a way for Google Play Music users to transfer uploaded music to YouTube Music in the future.
Google announced the release of Android 11 Developer Preview 1. Developers will need Pixel 2 or 2 XL, Pixel 3 or 3 XL, Pixel 3a or 3a XL, or Pixel 4 or 4 XL, or they can use the device emulators in Android Studio, which will need the new Android 11 Preview SDK and tools. The preview includes new display types, 5G experiences, conversational experiences, the Neural Networks API 1.3, and privacy improvements.
HTC announced updates to its Vive Cosmos VR headset line, with swappable faceplates for future upgrades. The Cosmos Elite features a faceplate that supports external tracking and includes two Lighthouse tracking base stations. The Cosmos Play is designed for entry level VR experiences, and uses inside-out tracking with cameras on the headset like the original Cosmos, but reduces the number of cameras from 6 to 4. The Cosmos XR offers AR capabilities with “high-quality XR passthrough cameras” on the faceplate. The Cosomos Elite is available for preorder February 24th for $899, more details on the Cosmos XR will be announced at the Game Developers Conference next month, and HTC says to expect launch details of the Cosmos Play "in the coming months."
Twitter announced it's rolling out a Continue Thread option, providing an easier way to connect multiple tweets together. Users can now scroll up when composing a tweet to see a list of previous tweets. Selecting one will present a "Continue Thread" option, which will allow you to add the composed tweet as a thread to the older tweet.
Dish announced that it lost 94,000 Sling TV subscribers in Q4 2019, the first time the streaming service posted a loss since launching in 2015. Overall Dish lost 194,000 pay-TV subscribers, including Sling in the quarter, down from a loss of 334,000 subscribers in Q4 2018.
Sony announced it cancelled its appearance at PAX East in Boston citing "increasing concerns" about coronavirus. The company had planned to show a playable demo of The Last of Us Part II at the show.


Preceded by:
"Facebook Tests Tabbed Interface"
Apple Reportedly Considering Allowing Third-Party Default Apps on iOS
Followed by:
"Facebook Launches Program To Compensate Users for Voice Recordings"