Russian iPhones are now legally required to offer new users a list of locally developed apps on initial setup. Limited entirely to Russian customers, the new setup process will add a local twang to iPhone initialisation.
Reported by MacRumours, the new setup process for Russian iPhones is now a legal requirement for Apple in that region. However, Apple isn't the only company that will have to abide by this new law.
Why do Russian iPhones need Russian apps?
Russia's Ministry of Digital Affairs have new legal requirements that declare that companies need to Russian software. The law mandates that companies have Russian software preinstalled to improve the country's foreign dependency.
Currently, Apple has made it so that iPhones purchased in Russia will now give users the option to install Russian apps. There's not a massive number of apps, but there are a few Russian alternatives to built-in Apple software to have if you want.
Notable apps include Yandex's Browser, Maps and Storage apps, Mail.ru, OK Live, the Russian social media application VK and a few others. It should add some convenience for some users, but it does alter iPhone in Russia. As it stands, Apple's crystal-clear no bloat look is slightly tarnished with these additions.
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Will Russia's software law affect me?
Unless you live in Russia, none of these changes will affect you or how you use your iPhone. If you do live in Russia, then most phone manufacturers that actively sell product in the will have Russian apps installed or avaliable to install by default.
At the very least, Russia's Ministry of Digital Affairs looks to be set to evolve over time. While the current law looks to benefit Yandex apps as a default, apps can be swapped out over time. If the Russian public sways in favour of an app alternative, then that app could be mandated for inclusion instead.
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