Till date, in typical Apple fashion, default apps on their iOS platform have always been locked to Apples own pre-installed offerings like Apple Music and Safari. Now, Apple is apparently discussing bringing the walls down a bit and let third party apps to be set as defaults by users.
Currently, on iOS, when users open a link, it automatically opens in Safari, even if the user wishes to open them in Google Chrome Firefox. Similarly, when a user needs to share something via mail, Apple defaults to its own Apple Mail app. Apple has blocked the ability to set defaults in iOS, probably to ensure that their apps and services continue to be used. It has however, received quite a bit of backlash in recent times for continuing to be lock this feature.
In response, Apple is considering loosening its restrictions on third party apps for third party apps like Spotify and such. It is also considering reducing restriction on its other devices such as the HomePod. Currently, users can only stream music directly on the HomePod via Apple Music, with Spotify and others being blocked. If users wish to stream via Spotify, they have to Airplay via an iPad or iPhone, which is extremely cumbersome. If the restrictions are lowered, it will improve the usability of the HomePod massively and also help the HomePod compete against other smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa.