Apple held their annual worldwide developers conference today in San Francisco, and made some major announcements regarding all four of their software platforms. But there’s a pretty big one that wasn’t announced that’ll make iOS users jump for joy.
Apple’s support page reveals that you can remove the pre-installed apps from your iOS device. While this currently only applies to iOS 10 beta, it’s a sign that this feature—that has been requested for years—makes its way to the final release. And if it does, would be the first time Apple has allowed this on iOS. But, there are some apps Apple is keeping off-limits.
iPhone currently comes pre-installed with over 30 apps (when you include iWork apps). It’s possible you’re not using most of them. Here’s a list of the apps Apple is letting you remove:
That’s 23 apps in total! There are some notable ones missing: Messages, Camera, and Photos can’t be deleted. Which—given their integration with iOS—is understandable. And Game Center can’t be deleted either. But given Apple’s push into mobile—and now home—gaming with iOS and Apple TV, that makes sense, too.
This feature really is aimed more at power users: those who tend to use a lot of third-party apps for various functions. For most consumers of iPhone, this feature doesn’t (and shouldn’t) apply—as these apps work perfectly well for the vast majority of people.
So unless you are a power user—and even if you are—don’t go deleting all those apps just yet. Not all third-party developers have taken advantage of iOS integration for all of their features. So it’s possible that by deleting certain apps, you may lose functionality that you rarely use—but is helpful when it’s needed. For example, if you use the CP app for Craigslist and want to reply to a listing, you can only do it through the Mail app—not a third-party app.
Plus, deleting certain apps come with some caveats. For example, if you delete the weather app, weather no longer appears in Notification Center on your Watch. And if you delete the Music app, it won’t be available to use with CarPlay. So, make sure to figure out if the app is something you really don’t use before trashing it.
For all the coverage from WWDC 2016, check out our other posts on watchOS 3, iOS 10, macOS, and tvOS.
[UPDATE]: For now, it seems you can’t actually delete the apps, only hide them. Craig Federighi—Apple’s software chief—was on John Gruber’s The Talk Show last week clarifying that “deleting” the apps doesn’t actually remove them from the system entirely. Instead, it hides the apps—similar to what happens on Android when you remove them from your home screen.
Not a big deal, really, as real estate space seems to be the bigger request from people than storage space (they only take up 150MB without saved data)—plus, it makes it easier to put them back on your screen if you ever want them again. But, at least for now (unless something changes before final release), one thing that could be a bit annoying is the request to reinstate the missing app the OS would normally use each time you tap a link (instead of a third party app)—as shown by one user running iOS 10 beta 1:
But again, this could change by the time final release happens in fall (because that’s the point of beta—to test things).