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.

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The New York Times bails on Apple News

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

The New York Times made headlines Monday when it said it would stop circulating articles on Apple News, because it "does not align with our strategy to fund quality journalism by building direct relationships with paying readers."

Why it matters: The move is forcing industry insiders to consider whether the Times/Apple split will serve as a catalyst for other publishers, especially those reliant on subscription revenue, to break with platforms that don't directly help them recruit paying subscribers or offer enough ad revenue.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
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  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
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Trump's failing culture wars

Data: Google; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

President Trump built his political brand by stoking the nation's culture wars, but search data is showing us how much harder it's been for him to replicate that success while running against another white man in his 70s — and while there's a coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016. Base voters who relished doubting President Obama's birth certificate aren't questioning Biden's.