Home / iPhone / Great iPhone and iPad news: You can now change two default apps in iOS 14, iPadOS 14. Here's how – CNET

Great iPhone and iPad news: You can now change two default apps in iOS 14, iPadOS 14. Here's how – CNET


We’ll show you how to set default apps on your iPhone or iPad. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

You can almost feel Apple loosening its steel grip over the iPhone and iPad with the release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. iPhone and iPad owners now have the option to alter how their home screen looks, including the ability to put widgets on the iPhone’s home screen. But also noteworthy is the ability to now set the default email and browser apps on the iPhone or iPad. 

That means you can use Gmail or Google Chrome — or any other app of your choice — and finally leave Safari and Apple Mail behind. It’s a big step for iPhone ($699 at Amazon) and iPad ($239 at Back Market) users, and one that was sorely overdue. 

The process to change over your default mail and browser app is really simple, but also somewhat hidden. Apple doesn’t make it as easy as Android, where there’s a dedicated section for setting default apps. You have to know where to look, and below, we’ll show you where that is.

Before we begin, you should know there was a bug in iOS 14

When iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 first launched, there was a bug that reverted your default app selection whenever you restarted your iPhone or iPad. Apple fixed the bug with iOS 14.0.1, so if you’re experiencing that issue, then check for a software update on your phone or tablet and make sure you’re current before you begin. 


It’s true, you can set some default apps on iOS 14. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Set your default mail or browser

Once your app of choice has updated for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, adding support to be set as a default app, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. 

2. Scroll down until you find the app you want to use. For example, find Google Chrome if you want it to be your main browser. Or Outlook if you want to use it as your email app. Then tap it. 

3. Select the appropriate option, either Default Browser App or Default Email App

4. Select the app and back out of settings. 

With a new default app set, anytime you click a link, your preferred browser will open. Or whenever you tap an email address, your email app will launch. It’s about time Apple added this capability. Now if only that bug fix could be released so we don’t have to keep resetting it.

Default apps aren’t the only hidden feature in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 — we found a bunch. Of course, there are some headlining features that change how you’ll use your iPhone or iPad, and there are even some new privacy features that should keep your information more protected


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