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By Dan Moren for Macworld
One of the defining characteristics of Apple’s ecosystem over the last decade has been its carefully curated nature—what critics refer to as the “walled garden.” The idea being, essentially, that if you don’t like the way Apple runs its extremely popular platforms, you can take a hike.
Over time, Apple has loosened and even removed some of its restrictions, sometimes officially and other times merely tacitly. But many have still remained in place, and while there are definitely advantages to the way that the Cupertino-based company does things, there are also places where perhaps the company could stand to relax a bit more.
Case in point: This week, some users noticed that they could now rent and purchase movies and TV shows directly in the Amazon Prime iOS app, without having to resort to an arcane work-around. Apple confirmed that this is an “established program”—despite it being the first time it seems to have been publicly acknowledged—that exists with certain high level partners, including Amazon, Canal+, and Altice One. (A deep dive by John Gruber at Daring Fireball lays out all the Byzantine ways that this deal works.) Is this a limited, targeted exception? Or perhaps a crack in Apple’s formidable armor?