Most iPhone and iPad users, if not all, have a folder on their home screen that reads something like this: “Apple apps,” “junk,” or “useless.” This folder usually contains Apple-made stock apps such as Compass, Calculator, Stocks, Find my iPhone, Voice Memos, Apple Watch, and Weather. For years,Apple has been criticised for not giving users the ability to remove or hide these stock apps, and it appears, the company plans to give its customers some flexibility with the next version of iOS.
Folks at AppAdvice looked into the metadata of iTunes app to find a few strings of characters that suggest that Apple is going to allow users to hide apps very soon. The strings, according to AppAdvice, reads “isFirstParty,” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp,” and seems to be appearing on every app in the App Store.
It’s a welcome move – provided it does happen – because plenty of users are not really happy allocating the previous home screen real estate to some of Apple’s pre-installed stock apps that they hardly ever use. Furthermore, for a user with a 16GB storage variant of an iPhone or iPad, these apps can eat up a significant amount of available storage. The blog claims that currently the value is set to “false,” but with WWDC around the corner, Apple may make the needful changes to give its users the ability to hide the apps.
In an interview last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook told BuzzFeed News that the company is aware that not all of its users are big fans of the apps that it ships with its devices, but added the complexities that are in play here before it could even think about giving its users the option to remove apps. Cook said, “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].”