Apple has introduced a new feature in the iOS 9.3.1 update for iPhone and iPad that will let users avoid some of the UK country’s laws and regulations.
The new feature, which is currently available in the US and Canada, lets users “check out” if the country’s “anti-socially unacceptable” law (ASU) or similar law has been breached or is “unfair”.
If a user is in the UK, they’ll be able to click “I Accept” on the “Get Help” page on the website to accept that the law has not been breached and to then proceed to a page where they can then “choose” to report the law’s breach.
The feature is part of a larger move by Apple to take a more liberal approach to its iOS app store, where it has introduced several new features over the past year, including a “social ban” feature which allows users to avoid certain apps, such as Snapchat, in favour of those with a more “social” user base.
Last month, Apple also launched a new iOS app, Siri: Your Voice on the App Store, which gives users a voice to ask questions and answers to Siri and other apps.
Apple’s move to take more control over its iOS apps has been criticised by the US tech industry, who have called the move a “major step backwards” for Apple’s efforts to promote Apple Pay and its new Pay service.
The US National Association of Broadcasters said the new feature was “anticonsumer” and “disappointing”, while Google, which was once Apple’s biggest user of iOS, has also expressed concerns over the move.
The BBC has also been vocal in its opposition to Apple’s move, saying that the new iOS features were “designed to make iOS more like an app store and less like an Apple product”.