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You can't actually delete iOS 10 apps after all


iOS 10

It turns out that you can't delete Apple's apps from iOS 10 after all. At least, not in the strictest sense.

You know that long-awaited change Apple quietly slipped into iOS 10? The one about being able to delete Apple's unwanted stock apps? Yeah, it isn't strictly true.

One of the big iOS 10 discoveries to emerge from the post-WWDC keynote period has been the ability to delete default Apple apps just as you would third-party apps.

While Apple didn't mention as much (for obvious reasons), it's been confirmed that those tell-tale delete crosses are present on Mail, Calendar, Notes, Weather, Watch, Music, and more.

Now Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, has clarified the matter to prominent Apple blogger John Gruber (via TechCrunch). He says this provision doesn't actually delete Apple's apps – it simply hides them on the homescreen.

These Apple services are actually baked into iOS itself, you see, which is why they update only when iOS itself updates. Federighi says that the apps need to remain in place for security signing reasons.

Related: Everything you need to know about iOS 10

When you "delete" these apps in iOS 10, then, you're merely removing the icon and deleting any related user data stored on your iPhone. You'll be able to "re-download" the Apple apps from the App Store, but in truth most of what you'll need for this will still be there.

To all intents and purposes, then, you can indeed remove Apple's apps from your phone. But know that there will always be a significant piece of them left embedded in iOS 10.

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Are you looking forward to iOS 10, or has Apple's reveal left you disappointed? Let us know in the comments.

Mere Adviser

June 15, 2016, 10:24 am

Why is this such a big deal? They don't take up much space, and if you don't like them, then move them to a folder and ignore that folder. Or like I do, a separate page within a folder I use. Out of sight, out of mind.

This is a non-issue. I don't understand why it has so much media attention and conversation.


June 15, 2016, 11:53 am

I think it's a legacy drum which people like to beat Apple with, from before they introduced folders. Without folders, apps you didn't use just added to the length of the list of icons you would have to navigate through to find the app you were after.

I guess it is also probably fuel for the Android vs iOS wars. Although folders were around on both from a similar point in time, (iOS actually coming first by about a year) Android's homescreen allowed you have a very neat, day to day interface, showing just the apps you regularly use, with the entire list of installed apps hidden away in the app tray.

Nowadays, I agree. I think it's an irrelevance.

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