back to article iOS 14 suffers app preference amnesia: Rebooting an iThing resets browser, email client defaults back to Safari, Mail

Apple's iOS 14 is supposed to let people select third-party apps, such as Chrome and Outlook, as their default browser and email client. Yet, when the iThings are rebooted or powered back on, these choices are wiped, and the defaults reset to Apple's Safari and Mail. Released yesterday, version 14 of the mobile operating …

  1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

    I don't know why the complaints?

    Cos surely the Ifaithful realise that you don't actually buy Iproducts, you just Irent them! And the fruity ones can always change the Isettings cos it's still their Iproduct after all!

    1. thondwe

      Re: I don't know why the complaints?

      Don't rent - buy outright - including "refurbished" ones for the kids and shorter term SIM deals. It's the fact that they do support quite old kit for updates (inc Security updates) that's appealing.

      But now IPadOS and iPhoneOS have diverged is not so good - new "App Library" and Home Screen Widgets (yes I know stolen) but NOT on iPad - WTF.

    2. HildyJ Silver badge

      Re: I don't know why the complaints?

      I don't think it was malicious but it was deliberate and it has less to do with iRent and more to do with iGarden.

      I suspect that the rationale was "if the customer reboots, something must be wrong, so we will change the settings and reboot in safe mode."

      I also suspect that a patch will change this ridiculous behavior.

  2. Deimos

    All hail the ghost of Jobs

    Yup iproducts are only ever rented and expensive but I converted ten years ago and have only had 3 phones and 3 tablets in that time. All upgrades were for pleasure only and all six devices are still in use somewhere in the family.

    Apple just works and keeps being updated for years, something that I have treasured over the last decade. I think they are a new class of shiny that makes you forget about it and just use the damn thing.

    Still not an apple fanboi but definitely a continued user.

    PS typing this on a five year old iPad before I upgrade it to ios14.

    1. The Sprocket

      Re: All hail the ghost of Jobs

      I'd say we 'iRent' just about anything digital, be it Apple branded or not. But since we're talking about the fruit company, over the weekend I spent some serious time with my fully functioning PowerBook 3400 running FA-18 Hornet 2.0 and having a blast. I updated the address book on my 2007 iPod Touch and added two albums. So frankly, I'm not too concerned about the longevity of my 2017 iPad Pro and 13" Macbook Air. They'll live on, and on, and on. My fully functioning 12" G4 PowerBook from 2005 is nodding approvingly from across the room. :-)

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Hanlon's Razor

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hanlon's Razor

      ...but don't rule out malice.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Hanlon's Razor

      But also don't rule out accidentally deleted a line:

      function set_default_browser(browser):

      system.default_apps.browser = browser

      settings ="wherever_that_is_stored")

      settings.defaults.browser = browser //oops, deleted this

      Apple makes bugs. This sounds like one of them. If they didn't want to do it because they want to keep their customers on their apps, they could equally easily have left out the option; their customers have taken that for 13 OS releases so far.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Another summer intern problem

    Apple really has to learn to not give important jobs to the summer intern. Last time it was with the time zone issue, where Apple became the only company in the world to forget that there is such a thing as a time zone. Now, Apple has forgotten to respect people's settings after a measly reboot.

    Not even a system wipe and reinstall, which would be perfectly acceptable and nobody could complain, but just a reboot.

    So Apple kit is no longer meant to be turned off. How green.

    Well, Apple may not offer any explanation, but I'm betting there will be a patch coming real soon.

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    So iOS is now better than Windows 10

    MS Windows only resets preferences after an upgrade, iOS does it after a reboot.

    Do you think that MS will take this as a challenge and reduce the times that preferences stick ?

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: So iOS is now better than Windows 10

      No, my Windows 10 does it after every reboot as well. Sometimes it just does it randomly in case I'm taking too long between reboots...

    2. David Lewis 2

      Re: So iOS is now better than Windows 10

      All your preferences are belong to us.

      Of course if you take this behaviour to its logical conclusion it will result in the complete removal of user preferences, after all, they obviously know what is best for us!

  6. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Experience suggests...

    Who wants to bet this iOS upgrade will also turn Bluetooth back on - despite me having disabled it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Experience suggests...

      If you switch them off from the Control Panel they'll only be off until the next day, disabling it in Settings makes it persistent.

      My main annoyance is the aggressive way in which it tries to force you to start using Apple Pay. You have to go quite deep into it before it no longer flags it as something you still have to do.

      That said, the secure messaging apps (Telegram, Signal and Threema) had absolutely no problem with the update, although I needed another power down and restart before they properly re-negotiated their push connection.

  7. IGotOut Silver badge

    Ha ha ha...

    "Engineers at Google are similarly upset that the Cupertino idiot-tax operation just happened to kill off everyone's preference for third-party browsers"

    Hi Google, there is black kettle over here.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Ha ha ha...

      Well given it's the first time we've had that option, I don't see how people can be that upset.

      But then "new function in updated operating system has bug" isn't quite so compelling a headline...

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Ha ha ha...

      Android explicitly asks you which app you'd like to use to open anything the first time you try, with "always" and "just once" options.

      It's even better than Windows 10, because it defaults to "just this once".

      Some phone vendors might make that initial choice for you, but it's easily changed and in my experience has always stuck.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Ha ha ha...

        What Huawei do is create their apps with the most similar short name and logo to the Google equivalent they can manage - put all theirs on the front page and hide all Google's in a folder on a different screen - and hope that you don't notice and use all their apps for preference.

        It was the one sour note of setting up an otherwise nice new phone.

        Perhaps it was prep for the new Trumptastic rules banning them from selling gear with the Play Store...

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Ha ha ha...

      Yup, especially since Android 11 is now blocking access to the camera, so you can no longer use 3rd-party camera apps.

  8. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    Not just iOS

    I've seen the same behaviour on macOS 10.15.6 and the dock.

    Restarted the machine after an update and blarg, back to having a dock full of Apple apps that I don't want but can't remove.

    1. X5-332960073452

      Re: Not just iOS

      I've seen this, turned out to be a corrupted preference file.

      Resetting permissions on user home folder and subfolders, corrected it.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Not just iOS

        I wouldn't mind but it was box fresh machine on my first day of using it in anger.. That and it's lost my divider spaces * grumble grumble *

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's nice that Apple corrects your mistakes on a reboot.

    I love Apple.

    1. Jay Lenovo

      Re: It's nice that Apple corrects your mistakes on a reboot.

      The iOS 14 codename I believe was "Groundhog Day"

      ...or maybe it was actually "Azul", which equates to a similar incredulous blue feeling.


      In either case, 14.1 should correct their initial mistake to make sure every reboot

      starts with a short startup chime of "I got you Babe".

  10. ST Silver badge

    You set your preferences wrong.



  11. DS999

    The problem is in who does the beta testing

    Are the developers and iPhone power users who run prerelease beta versions of iOS going to be setting Chrome as their default browser? Of course not, that's why this wasn't uncovered during testing. They set it to Chrome, found that Chrome was now the default, then set it back to Safari where they intended to leave it and as far as they were concerned concluded "the new feature works".

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