iOS 10 will allow you to remove Apple’s own apps
Kill the Apple-developed apps you don’t want in the latest version of iOS.
Apple has long held a strong grip over what you can and can’t do within iOS, but it seems to be loosening that grip as of late. That's evident in the strong focus on allowing developers access to core features such as messaging and Siri revealed at this morning’s WWDC keynote.
More evidence? One feature of iOS 10 that Apple didn’t highlight during the keynote, but which is in the developer preview, is that you will finally be able to remove Apple’s stock applications if you’re not using them, or simply don’t like them. For some time now, the classic solution to this problem has been to shove them all in a single folder, because previous versions of iOS didn’t allow you to delete them at all. The best you could do was hide them away.
Under iOS 10 – or at least under the developer preview released today – you’ll be able to remove the following apps if they don’t serve your needs:
- Find My Friends
- iCloud Drive
- iTunes Store
- Voice Memos
- Watch app
You might notice that Game Center isn't included in the list of apps you can remove. Based on Apple's developer notes it appears that Game Center as an app is being discontinued, although the underlying APIs will remain for those developers that use them.
What happens if I accidentally delete an app I want?
Apple is making the apps you can remove available directly through the app store as individual apps, in the same way that Google has done with many of its core Android apps.
There are some instances where removing an app will mean you’ll lose other functionality. Apple has set up a page that runs through the complications, which include losing Carplay ability for Podcasts if you remove the Podcasts app, or losing quick access to the calculator app from the lock screen if you uninstall the calculator app.
Does this mean I’ll be able to use other apps as the new default?
At this stage it doesn’t appear to be the case, with some online reports suggesting that if you uninstall Mail and click on an email link with some other app already installed, it will still prompt you to redownload Apple’s own Mail app.
The App removal functionality may change somewhat between this developer beta (which, for example, doesn’t yet allow News to be removed; that’s apparently coming in a later release) and the final version of iOS 10, due later this year.