Wednesday, June 22, 2016

iOS 10 now allows you to hide pre-installed apps

Apple threw a lot at us at the WWDC ’16, including the revamped iOS design, new Messages apps, and something that Apple has never done before – opening up Siri and Messages to the developers. These announcements might be very exciting for some users, but even before we started anticipating these advanced features from Apples, we have all dreamt of something very basic in the iOS platform – being able to uninstall the preinstalled apps.

The least used of these preinstalled apps include iMovie, Stocks, and Mail among other apps. No one ever uses the stocks app. No one. Period. Same can be said about the mail. Apple’s mail app is just really unreliable, while the app forget to notify users, and it just lacks in functionality. Most people prefer to use the Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo Mail apps for iOS over the pre-installed Mail app. Besides, there are also wide choice of excellent mail clients available in the App Store, our favorite one being CloudMagic. Some users do appreciate the iMovie app, but for most users it is just destined to be put in the ‘iNon-Sense’ folder. Besides, the iPhone app does not provide usability even remotely similar to the Mac application. So it is pretty much just junk. Even Apple’s office suite is not very popular, since most people just download Microsoft’s office apps for productivity.

However, rejoice frustrated Apple fans! Of all the announcements that Apple made at WWDC this year, the one that got everyone excited was something that wasn’t even announced. Apparently, iOS 10 allows the users to hide the pre-installed apps. Maybe Apple just forgot to announce it, or maybe they were shy to admit that we all have been right all along! There’s no need for the iJunk folder on your device, YAY! However, notice how I said that you can only HIDE the pre-installed apps, not remove it. That would be too unrealistic for Apple. So even though you can hide all those apps, it will not help you free up any storage. Apple claims that all their pre-installed apps only account for about 150MB (although they claim for this to be the case, I really do not think that this is true). Even though it were only 150 MB, it would really make no difference for people owning a 64GB or above devices. Nonetheless, for those with 16GB models, 150 MB is still a great deal of storage.

Apple has already placed a warning for users planning to disable the pre-installed apps, that this action might affect some other functionalities in the device. We have already seen instance of this on the iOS 10 Beta 1. When clicking on an email, the primary action is to redirect to the Mail app. However, if the Mail app was disabled, a pop-up shows up saying that we need to re-enable the Mail app. Well Apple, how about you just let us set our own default apps? Or maybe they have it in plan for the next time they play catch up with Android next year? Only time will tell.