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Apple CEO hints that iOS could open up to more third-party customization

Apple CEO hints that iOS could open up to more third-party customization

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During the D11 conference this evening, Apple CEO Tim Cook was pressed on the fact that Apple's software is more closed in comparison to other platforms such as Android, and admitted that the company could be softening on that stance — to a degree. "On the general topic of opening up APIs, I think you'll 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. So there's always a fine line to walk there, or maybe not so fine."

Walt Mossberg asked Cook about Facebook Home; according to Mossberg, Facebook had first approached Apple with the idea, but Cupertino wasn't receptive. Cook didn't confirm the statement, but did admit that some customers wanted the more elaborate customization options seen on platforms like Android. "We think the customer pays us to make choices on their behalf. I've see some of these settings screens, and I don't think that's what customers want," he said. "Do some want it? Yes."

When asked directly if Apple would be allowing third parties to provide additional features on iOS devices — the platform currently provides some sharing functionality with Facebook and Twitter on the operating system level — Cook confirmed that Apple would. However, users in love with Facebook Home's Chat Heads may need to keep waiting. When asked if that feature would be coming to iOS eventually, Cook replied, "There's always more the companies can do together. I don't think that that's one."