With iOS 14, users will finally have the option to choose standard apps other than Safari and Mail for web links and email. Now Apple has presented developer guidelines who want to add the feature to their apps, and there are stricter rules than usual that apply.
The rules for browsers are strictest:
- When the app is opened, it must display an address bar and a search function or a bookmark list.
- When the user opens a link from another app, the browser must go directly to the specified address and draw only the content as specified by the website in question. It is not allowed to modify the content or add additional content.
- Exceptions to the above rule can be made for browsers that are specifically for children and give parents control over permitted content.
- The app may display a warning before a website is displayed that is deemed dangerous in any way.
- The app may not request access to the user’s image library, Homekit, always available location information, background use of bluetooth or data from Hälsa. To be able to upload images, they must use iOS 14’s new technology to select images where the app can not see any other images than the ones the user chooses.
The rules are designed so that only standard browsers such as Chrome, Opera and Edge can be set as the default app, plus special child browsers with parental control.
For emails, the rules are a little simpler. They must be able to send and receive email from any address, and Apple specifically notes that apps that filter incoming email are allowed (so the Hey app is supposed to get approved, for example).