Published by Dan Cunning on Oct 14, 2020

iOS Default Browser

Filed under Technology

The walled garden Apple has built around their products is majestic but limiting. Settings most products would have by v2.0 may never find their way into Apple's products either because they haven't perfected it or they just don't want to allow users to stray off their path.

The default browser in iOS has been my biggest pet peeve on the iPhone for years. The United States government sued Microsoft in 1998 because Microsoft built Internet Explorer directly into Windows, preinstalled, and used by default. Of course Windows users could change their default browser but most don't. Apple's approach is many times worse and no one cared.

Sounds trival, but here's a side-effect of this limitation:

  1. Using your preferred non-Safari web browser, click on a link to Amazon.
  2. iOS detects and opens the link using the Amazon app.
  3. If the Amazon app isn't allowed to sell that particular item on iOS (products that compete with certain Apple products like iTunes), Amazon sends you back to the web by opening Safari.

Here it is in action:

After 12+ years, iOS 14 allows you to change your default browser. Finaly I can open links without having to copy the URL and paste it into DuckDuckGo.