Unlike Android, iOS offers no easy solution to getting Apple’s own apps off the home screen – but that could soon change.
A future version of the iOS operating system (perhaps iOS 10?) might include the option to hide Apple’s first-party apps.
A report by App Advice cites newly uncovered code that hints at the long-requested feature.
“Apple has added two new keys labeled ‘isFirstParty’ and ‘isFirstPartyHideableApp’ in iTunes metadata,” reads the report.
It continues: “These two new values started showing up a few weeks ago on every app in the App Store.”
The iTunes metadata is where information about any given app is stored. Details contained include an app’s release date, App Store category, and file size.
However, the fact that these labels are paired with a Boolean value i.e. true or false, it means that not all of Apple’s own apps will be removable.
Speaking to Buzzfeed in September, Apple CEO Tim 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.”
Currently, if you don’t want an app to appear on your home screen, the best solution is to hide it in a home screen folder. Unfortunately, that’s not an ideal fix, with many native apps clogging up space (both in terms of the UI and your storage) unnecessarily.
Related: Best iPhone Apps 2016
Fortunately, if Apple is planning to add the option to hide native apps, it might not be too far off.
Apple is expected to hold its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, which should herald the launch of iOS 10.
However, that software won’t become publicly available until September’s long-rumoured iPhone 7 launch.
What don’t you like about Apple’s iOS software? Let us know in the comments.