Apple has published a support document online that details the specific requirements developers must adhere to in order to make their app suitable for iOS 14’s third-arty default app option (via Federico Viticci). 

In iOS 14, users will for the first time be able to select their systemwide preference of default browser and email app. Until now, iOS defaults to Safari and Mail in most situations. 

App developers must follow Apple’s guidelines and then request a managed entitlement. 

“The system invokes the default web browser in iOS whenever the user opens an HTTP or HTTPS link. Because this app becomes the user’s primary gateway to the internet, Apple requires that web browsing apps meet specific functional criteria to protect user privacy and ensure proper access to internet resources,” said Apple.

The guidelines for browsers say apps must meet certain benchmarks, as well as a certain level of privacy. They must also provide full access to the web in the same way Safari allows. Basically, becoming a default option means the apps can’t take away any existing functionality afforded by having Safari as the default. 

The requirements for becoming a default email app aren’t as arduous, but still asks developers to meet privacy and web access baselines.

When iOS 14 launches with the iPhone 12, most likely in October, we hope to see major alternative browsers and email apps ready to go with default app support.