Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Apple may have to make a radical decision for iPhone's Photos app

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The European Union's Digital Markets Act continues to cause Apple a headache. Due to this law, the company had to allow third-party application stores on iOS. Again, due to this law, a browser selection screen is expected to be added to iOS in the coming period. However, it seems that the changes discussed will not be limited to this. Apple may also have to allow the deletion of the Photos application it offers with the iPhone.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber noted the comments of Margrethe Vestager, who leads the European Commission's “Europe for the Digital Age” initiative. Vestager suggests that Apple should offer choice not only about which apps to install and use, but also which apps to uninstall.

Vestager particularly draws attention to the Photos application. While there are few apps that are this heavily integrated into iOS, Photos stands out due to its more heavy use. Although this app is essentially a gallery, it also functions as a “file chooser” when sending photos or videos.

iOS allows you to share your entire gallery or just individual photos and videos with an app. This includes both files stored locally and files uploaded to iCloud. Removing this from iOS and making way for third-party apps can be quite a challenge.

The Digital Markets Act, on the other hand, demands that Apple give full access to iOS APIs and features (including mobile payments, app installation, and apparently everything Photos has access to).

This is pretty much the same situation Microsoft was in in the early 2000s. Since Internet Explorer is a core component of Windows, users were unable to uninstall this application from their devices. The US Department of Justice objected and filed a lawsuit against the company. Microsoft acquiesced and made Windows more open to third-party software. Browser selection screens were later added to Windows, and the European Union also pushed the change.

Which apps does Apple prevent iPhone users from deleting?

Apple does not currently allow iPhone users to delete the Photos app. Camera, Messages, Phone, Safari and Settings applications are also among the applications that cannot be removed. Some of these applications still cannot be deleted. But Apple will at least offer more flexibility for some apps' functionality.

Danish Kapoor