Tim Cook Quizzed On The Possibility Of Opening Up iOS

29 May 2013

AllThingsD:

Walt on whether Apple might allow others to make changes to the home screen or keyboard. On Android, third parties can give you a choice. Have you given any thought to a little less control?

Cook: As for opening up more programming hooks, “I think you will see us open up more in the future,” he said. “But not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience.”

We think the customer pays us to make certain choices on our behalf. Some want full control, but not the masses.

“But will we open up more,” Cook said. “Yes.”

Its not clear whether Cook is providing a direct response to the question or not, which makes discerning the meaning in his answer impossible. His answer is vague enough that it could just mean ‘adding more APIs for developers in the future’ (which is an inevitability) rather than adding more APIs for integration with Mossberg’s specific examples, like the keyboard and the home screen.

Personally, I would expect Apple to relax their control over iOS to a degree, but I think custom keyboards are out of bounds. I think third-party keyboards fall into the “risk of having a bad experience” category.