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Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images

While not heavily touted by Apple on Monday, the company made several moves designed to address some key criticisms leveled by developers and antitrust authorities in recent weeks.

Why it matters: The moves likely won't end all the grumbling or stop regulators in their tracks, but they might turn down the heat for Apple over charges that it is increasingly behaving like a monopolist.

Driving the news: At its developer conference, Apple announced it would:

  • Allow customers for the first time to set a different email program or web browser as the default option on the iPhone.
  • Enable the HomePod speaker to work with streaming services beyond the company's own Apple Music.

Apple is also making some changes in how it handles disputes with developers:

  • In most cases, Apple will now not hold up bug fixes even when it has found an app violates its rules.
  • Developers will also have a process to challenge whether an app violates a specific rule, as well as to challenge a rule itself.

The big picture: The moves come as Europe has launched an antitrust probe and the chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee has criticized the company.

  • They also follow a very public spat with Basecamp over Hey, a new email application.
  • That dispute also appears to have reached a detente, with Hey agreeing to a limited free trial in an effort to remain in compliance with Apple's terms.

Go deeper

Sep 29, 2020 - Technology

Scoop: Lawmakers tee up hearing with academics ahead of antitrust report

Big Tech CEOs testify before the House Judiciary antitrust panel in June. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images.

Mostly academics will be testifying at Thursday's House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee hearing, which will reveal where its year-long investigation into Big Tech and competition is going, a source familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: The hearing is the next step following testimony from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Apple's Tim Cook before the committee in July. A showing of academics and think-tank types signals the lawmakers are still sorting out competition theories and possible legislative fixes to perceived antitrust abuses.

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.