Code discovered in iTunes hints at the change.
The default Apple apps that come with every iPhone and iPad can be annoying and take up real estate on our devices, which is one reason everyone wishes you could just delete or hid them. A new report suggests Apple might finally be giving users a way to do just that.
Code in iTunes metadata that appears on every app in the App Store suggests a change is coming, according to AppAdvice. The keys “isFirstParty” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp” hint that Apple is building a way for people to hide apps like Stocks, Compass, and Tips that you can’t delete from your phone.
First party apps are pieces of software that come pre-installed on your device that you can’t delete. Other first party Apple apps include Watch, Health, News, Notes, and Voice Memos.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the company did give people a way to remove or hide at least some of those default apps. Apple doesn’t publish usage statistics associated with most of its own apps, so its unclear how popular they are.
CEO Tim Cook has acknowledged that built-in apps aren’t something everyone wants, and told BuzzFeed in an interview last year that the company was looking into ways of giving users what they want, though he described the issue as “complex.”
There are some apps that are linked to something else on the iPhone. If they were to be removed they might cause issues elsewhere on the phone. There are other apps that aren’t like that. So over time, I think with the ones that aren’t like that, we’ll figure out a way [for you to remove them]. … It’s not that we want to suck up your real estate; we’re not motivated to do that. We want you to be happy.
Apple declined to comment on the report. If the company is planning on implementing the change, it may come when Apple releases iOS 10, which it is expected to announce in June.
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