For the first time, Apple's iOS 10 lets you delete default Apple apps.

Apple Will Finally Let You Delete Its Intrusive Apps

Apple Will Finally Let You Delete Its Intrusive Apps

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
June 13 2016 7:55 PM

Apple Will Finally Let You Delete Its Intrusive Apps

Default apps in iOS 9 that you'd probably love to delete.


You might use Apple’s Mail app or the Safari browser. You might not mind having Apple Maps kicking around. A number of native apps come standard on Apple’s mobile operating systems, though, and they take up space. Too bad they’ve been undeletable in every version of iOS. No choice. At Apple’s developer conference on Monday, though, that all changed. Finally.

Though it wasn’t officially announced, people started noticing that Apple’s default apps (Stocks, News, etc.) were showing up in the App Store like the company’s other optional offerings. They’ve never been there before because they were already on everyone’s phones and never needed to be re-downloaded. Then developers at the conference started installing the test beta of Apple’s freshly announced mobile operating system upgrade, iOS 10. They found that when they pressed and held to make apps jiggle, Xs came up in the corners of the default apps to delete them. This was never an option before.


Now you can really choose what’s on your iPhone, whether you want to get rid of Apple’s Weather app and use a different one or you don’t have an Apple Watch and want to ditch the Watch app. It’s rare for Apple to relax its grip on anything in its ecosystem, but the number of undeletable native apps had been growing and the company may have recognized the unfair burden, especially on customers with 16GB iPhones (limited local storage for a current smartphone).

And there were hints that something like this might be coming. In September, Apple CEO Tim Cook told BuzzFeed:

This is a more complex issue than it first appears. ... 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].

That’s basically exactly what’s happening now. The Verge reports that some native apps like Camera, Messages, and Photos still can’t be deleted, probably because they’re too enmeshed with everything else, like Cook said. But for the bulk of the bloat, change is coming. I can’t wait to delete my Apple Crap folder.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.