A post on Virtual Pants raises an interesting question about the recent release of Google Chrome on the App Store: if Apple really doesn’t want third-party apps to replace first-party apps, why do they keep approving them? After all, the main reason I’d like to try an app like Chrome is to see if it could replace Safari for my everyday needs. In other words, Apple’s approval of Chrome makes it seem like they want to provide users with a real choice on the App Store – except that really isn’t the case, because Safari is the only app that will ever launch when you tap on a link in Mail (or most any other app without a built-in browser view).
Approving Chrome as Apple did seems to be an approval in only the most technical sense – which really ends up feeling more annoying than exciting. On the one hand, it’s good to see Chrome on the App Store, but the app that we can download is really only a facimile of Chrome, since links will still be redirected to Safari.
I’ve already written about how Sparrow is still usable as a Mail.app replacement, even though it isn’t the system default. However, the same simply doesn’t apply for browsers. I’ve tried a number of third-party browsers and have given them all up for Safari, simply because it was too much of a pain to keep working around their limitations. All I can hope is that this approval annoys enough users that Apple re-considers their stance on allowing third party apps to act as defaults.
[via Daring Fireball]