As Apple has been investigating for anti-competitive practices, the company is working on new ways to avoid these accusations and even sanctions from governments around the world. With iOS 14.3, which is now available as a beta release for developers, Apple will suggest third-party apps to users during the setup process of a new iPhone or iPad.
While we haven’t seen this new feature in action yet, 9to5Mac was able to find clear evidence in the iOS 14.3 beta code that reveals a new menu in the system setup process that will show suggestions for App Store apps even before the user starts using the device.
This new section of the setup process is not intended to be shown to all users. Instead, the code says that it will be enabled only for some countries based on local laws. “In compliance with regional legal requirements, continue to view available apps to download,” the code says.
It’s unclear in which regions Apple will enable this new feature, but it will most likely be first implemented in European Union countries. Last year, Google was sued in Europe for forcing its search service and Google Chrome on Android devices. After that, Android devices sold there now suggest other web browsers for new users.
More recently, Japan has joined the list of countries investigating Apple for antitrust concerns — which already includes the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, and South Korea.
Most of the accusations are related to Apple prioritizing its own apps and not offering the same opportunities to App Store developers. Big companies like Epic Games and Spotify have already accused Apple of acting as a monopoly due to the App Store guidelines.
As iOS 14.3 has just been released to developers, we have no clue when it will be officially available to the public.