Last month, it was revealed that Apple had agreed to comply with new Russian legislation requiring device manufacturers to pre-install apps as part of the initial setup.
Since it is now April, this law has come into force and Apple has activated the system server side. After completing regular iPhone setup, iOS now leads the user to a special App Store collection of apps.
Update: We have learned that while the new Russian law requires local apps to be offered during setup, the authorities do not explicitly require which apps are displayed.
This process is not as serious as the pre-installation laws first made it sound. The user is forcibly directed to the App Store collection, but it can be rejected only by pressing the usual modal closed ̵
Apple makes it clear that this step is necessary to comply with local laws, with the installation process transparently informing the user that “in accordance with Russian legal requirements, continue to see available apps for download”.
Although the collection of selected apps may change over time, the apps currently include Yandex.Browser, Yandex.Maps, Mail.ru, the Russian Federation’s public service app, and what appears to be a Russian social networking service.
Apple previously said that all apps must adhere to the App Store Review Policy. This means that it cannot include software that would not otherwise be allowed in the App Store.
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