While Apple hasn’t had as big a problem with pre-installed, built-in apps as some competing platforms, it’s still an issue for many users.
Back in April of this year, metadata discovered in iTunes hinted at the possibility that Apple would introduce the ability to hide, or remove, built-in apps in an upcoming version of iOS. Earlier today, Apple officially announced iOS 10, but didn’t make any mention of removing built-in apps. But it turns out you can do it.
Apple actually has a dedicated page on its website that focuses on the ability to remove built-in apps from the iOS 10 Home screen. Apple says if you update to the iOS 10 beta —which already has its first developer beta available— you can remove “some” built-in apps from the Home screen, and that by removing the app you also remove its configuration files and related user data:
“If you update to iOS 10 beta, you can remove some built-in apps from the Home screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
When you remove a built-in app from your Home screen, you also remove any related user data and configuration files. This can affect things like related system functions or information on your Apple Watch.”
Apple goes on to point out that while the apps are indeed pre-installed, they are “very space efficient,” and even say that all the apps only take up 150MB of space on the phone.
Still, these are the apps that can be removed from the iOS 10 Home screen:
- Find My Friends
- iCloud Drive
- iTunes Store
- Voice Memos
- Watch app
There are some caveats, though, as Apple outlines on the dedicated page:
- You can remove the Contacts app from an iPhone only. If you remove Contacts, you won’t lose your contact information. You can still find all of that information in the Phone app.
- If you remove the Music app, it won’t be available to use with CarPlay.
- The News app will be removable in a later version of iOS 10 beta.
- If you try to remove the Watch app from an iPhone that’s paired with an Apple Watch, an alert asks you to unpair your Apple Watch before you can remove the app.
On top of all that, Apple says there are indeed ramifications for removing some of the apps, as mentioned above. Just like the Apple Music app, if you remove the Podcasts app it own’t be available in CarPlay. If you remove the Stocks or Weather apps, you won’t see that information in Notification Center. And if you remove the Calculator app, it won’t be available to select in Control Center.
So, while we can remove built-in apps, it doesn’t look like we can replace them with third-part options just yet. But perhaps this is a step in the right direction.