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Apple Looks Serene To Open Its Walled Garden In 2023 For User Security

Key Highlights

  • A new report says that at Apple, 2023 will be all about security.
  • The company may also remove some bricks from the walls around its garden.

A Bloomberg report claims that Apple plans to open up some of its critical private APIs to outside competitors, embrace external payment systems, and permit third-party app stores to sell software to users.

This tidal wave of change aligns the company with different regulatory decisions, including the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

The changes are:

  • Allowing browsers that use browser engines other than WebKit.
  • Launching its NFC implementation to other payment systems.
  • Providing access to more camera controls.
  • Expanding the Find My network to more third-party accessories.
  • Aiding iOS apps distributed outside the App Store.

The changes are being led by Andreas Wendker, vice president for software engineering, and Jeff Robbin, who developed SoundJam and could appear as soon as iOS 17.

These can be seen as direct responses to several waves of regulation the company faces. Enabling more latitude on its platform should mitigate many accusations against Apple, giving it more wriggle room as it enters future hardware, software, and services areas by decreasing its platform advantage. However, the risk would be that they may destroy customer security and user experiences.

How Will Apple Deliver?

It depends on execution. Apple’s security teams will be deeply involved in planning around the removal of a few elements of platform protection. For instance, introducing third-party app stores may leave users more open to accidental malware infection.

Apple may require third-party stores to take responsibility for user security, which will probably evict providers who cannot maintain specifically agreed security service level standards.

Using third-party apps, stores, browsers, and services might become options enabled or disabled in Settings. Apple anticipates that giving these options will be sufficient for regulators to see it has taken steps to open its ecosystem to competition.

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