iOS 14 gives iPhone and iPad users the power to choose their default web browser and email app for the first time when it lands this fall. That means you’ll no longer be forced into Safari and Mail when tapping links.
Users have been calling for the ability to choose their own browser and email client inside iOS for years. It’s obviously possible in macOS, but Apple has always avoided this functionality in its mobile operating systems.
Many have criticized this approach, which makes it more difficult for third-party browsers and email clients to compete, and Apple is finally listening. iOS 14 gives users the power to choose for the first time.
Ditch Safari and Mail in iOS 14
You can obviously download Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and other third-party browsers on iPhone and iPad. There are lots of great third-party email clients, too. But in iOS 13 and earlier, if you tap on a link or email address, you will forced into Safari and Mail no matter what.
Some apps have implemented their own workarounds for this. For instance, Tweetbot will allow you to open URLs in Chrome if you wish. But with iOS 14, you can simply set Chrome as your default web browser, and an app like Newton or Gmail (but not Hey) as your mail client.
Apple didn’t mention this change during its WWDC 2020 keynote, but it was confirmed by an image Apple showed highlighting some of the changes and improvements on the way.
We’ll find out more about how custom default apps will work when the first iOS 14 beta rolls out to developers later today.