New EU rule might force Apple to allow Photos app to be uninstalled

Photos App - Delete App

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act is becoming a thorn in the side for the iPhone maker

The EU Digital Markets Act is about to become a pain for Apple in a new way, as it may require the iPhone maker to make it possible for device users to uninstall the Photos app.

The rule says users must have a choice

As a result of this regulation in the EU, users must not only be able to install third party apps and use them if they want, but they must also have the choice regarding which applications they want to uninstall. The Photos app has been drawing particular attention in this light, even though there are actually a number of applications to which this regulation applies and that are well embedded into iOS.

Photos App - Apple - Gallery

The reason that particular application has drawn so much attention even though there are many others that are impacted is that the Photos app is woven into a spectrum of other parts of the use of iOS-based devices For instance, it functions as the gallery application, but is also the file picker when a user aims to share a video or picture.

What happens if the Photos app is removed?

Currently, when iPhone users want to share visual content, they can share an individual picture or video or whole gallery using the application. This allows users to choose both images and video stored locally and those that have been uploaded to iCloud.

By pulling that application from an iOS device and replacing it with a third-party application, it could lead to a number of important challenges for users.

That said, the Digital Markets Act also requires that Apple provide complete iOS API and feature access. That includes everything from installing apps, mobile payments, and everything the existing Photos app can access.

Though it will certainly be complex for Apple at first, it is certainly not impossible. Many people are comparing it to the early 2000s, when Microsoft was required to allow users to uninstall Internet Explorer from Windows, when it had previously been a core component that could not be deleted.  In that case, it was the US Department of Justice that filed a lawsuit against the company, to which Microsoft settled, opening the operating system to third-party internet browsers.

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