Why stock apps can't actually be deleted in iOS 10

Why stock apps can't actually be deleted in iOS 10
At WWDC 16, Apple had a lot of exciting new things to announce, but some tidbits didn't get any stage time and were discovered only after the keynote through the first iOS beta. One of the more minor new additions– the ability to delete stock apps – certainly surprised (pleasantly) a lot of people. Well, often times things are not what they seem at first, and as we reported a couple of days ago, system apps are not actually removed when you try to uninstall them. So, here's what happens and why.

If you long-press on one of the stock app icons on the home screen and tap the “x” button, the icon will disappear and all user data associated with the app will be cleared, but that's it. It's basically like disabling the app and is the reason why re-enabling any “deleted” apps from the App Store takes only a second and involves no downloading of assets.

In a post-keynote Talk Show Live session with John Gruber, Apple's senior vice president Craig Federighi explained that the reason for this lies in the way code singing in iOS works. The apps actually remain on the device as a part of the signed package that Apple uses to ensure that an iOS version is legitimate when installed. If they were actually removed, the current code signing system would not be able to deal with each device having a different combination of built-in apps and would fail the verification process. And that's pretty much it – iPhone users are stuck with the built-in apps.

That's probably not such a big deal though, as Apple promises that the stock app package for iOS is designed to be space efficient, using less than 150 MB of storage space. At least now we have the option to declutter the homescreen a bit more.

via: Redmond Pie

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32 Comments

1. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I just wish iOS has a proper "Back Key" ala Android & Windows Phone... It felt a tad weird when I tried my mate's 6S... But it isn't something I could never get used to! And that's my only single gripe about iOS and iPhone... Perhaps, I'm too used to Android, Symbian, BB OS & Windows Phone? Oh, Well...™ G'Day!™

3. Nopers unregistered

To be honest, the back key is replaced with a gesture like flicking through a book, which I like more to be honest since you can use it to go back and forward. Also if you go too far back it won't exit the app.

5. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Apple will never make a back key. That's one of the things that make them look awesome to the ordinary apple users. Adding one or more buttons is tedious and will make them frustrated. This is what my cousins kept complaining when they borrow my s7 edge to take pictures and see the photos they took.

25. AlikMalix unregistered

I use the flick gesture, like flipping pages in the book. It's simple and requires no need to reach for one either on top of screen or bottom. You can use forcetouch swipe from edge to switch to previous app. If u force swipe from edge you'll get all apps (just like double tapping the home button). But if u swipe all the way across the screen you will just switch to previous app used. People don't explore all apples feature and accommodations - and it's Apple fault - they never show everything off in commercials like Samsung does.

26. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Sound much more complicated than just pressing back button on my android. but hey its question of taste i guess.

31. AlikMalix unregistered

You're right, if you're used to back button it is it easier to reach than than useless back button in top right corner in iOS (but it does tell you which app your going back to unlike android). And if you have one of those bulky cases, forces swiping from edge of screen for app list is uncomfortable. But the regular swipe gestures to go back and FORWARD is more easier than just a back button on bottoms left corner in android and bulky cases do not interfere with that gesture. But you're right, it is a matter of taste. Once you build up that muscle memory, something different (even if it's better) feels awkward.

38. techietech

Posts: 29; Member since: Jan 24, 2016

Gestures are easier than tapping back button. Navigation on Android is more complicated than iOS's imo.

2. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

So it's like an illusionist? You tell people that the pigeon was gone but in reality, your just hiding it under your sleeve? Way to go apple, saying things that aren't really what they are.

4. Nopers unregistered

Apple never actually claimed that you could now delete system apps, they never even mentioned that you could hide them in the key note. Also, it's pretty much on par with every single piece of carrier and OEM bloat you get on android.

6. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

"Here's the full list of stuff that can currently be removed, direct from Apple."http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/13/11923112/apple-ios-10-delete-stock-apps I don't know carrier bloats and never experienced massive problems with built-in apps either since I don't live in America. Telcos try to install bloatwares in my country and they'll get massive storage complains within days.

8. Nopers unregistered

That's an article on the verge, they literally say it went unmentioned at WWDC. When you remove a stock app it says "remove" instead of delete. Amd carrier bloat is very much a thing if you've ever seen an AT&T phone (we don't really get it in the UK) but I'm pretty sure it's alive and well.

9. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Yeah, Apple never made that comment, it was something that the media discovered and ran with the story before they actually understood what the system was actually doing with the apps.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31052; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Cool on Apples part to clarify it.

11. darkkjedii

Posts: 31052; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

As long as I can make them disappear, and not have the put them in a junk folder...I'm good. They're disabled, just like on my note.

14. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

lol, that works for you, you always get the phones model with the largest storage capacity so it's not as relevant to you as it would be to someone who only had 16GB. All non essential apps should be permitted to be uninstalled and removed from your device if the owner chooses not to use them, especially if they're going to still offer a 16GB model. This goes for all brands, not just Apple.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

150 MB is hardly going to make a big difference.

28. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

But do we have proof its 150 mb only. thats the big question.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31052; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's true, and I agree, but it is what it is. Gotta go with what's there.

19. libra89

Posts: 2281; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

You said exactly how I feel. Hiding them works for me. On Android, you can pretty much disable an app but you can't hide it. Love that I'll be able to hide them.

21. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

.... Well, you can keep the app in the App drawer. If you have all your frequently used apps organized properly on your home screen then you won't really ever have to worry about Apps you don't see. Then again if you don't want to see an app I'm assuming that you don't intend to use it so why would you choose to just hind it opposed to just delete it or disable it?

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 31052; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yep, works for me. I'm liking iOS 10 so far. Looks good.

29. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

on android you can delete any app from your desktop. Apple iphone dont have app drawer only a desktop. Dont compare stuff thats dont work same way...

35. AlikMalix unregistered

I can create as many "app drawers" as I want on iPhone. And put my unused stock apps there. On android all apps used and not used, including bloat and redundant system apps are all put there. It's all preference but don't dismis iOS organization capabilities, ok?

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The problem is, some apps have services that are part of the core system of the OS. Disabling the app doesn't turn everything about it off. Other apps may use the service that app provides. Like the Calendar API. Any app that shows dates or uses scheduling, needs to use that core API. The API service is still running to support other apps. All you did was tell this app it cant use that API. if you remove the app, then you remove the core service, which would cause other apps to not work. This is where IOS is a failure because the service should be at the OS level, which means any app that needs it would just call it up from the OS. Making such a service is dumb because you force every app that installs to use this service. This is what browser makers back in the day were pissed about with Windows/Microsoft. They didnt want their browser to call up an of IE services. They want their browser basically to run inside Windows with all its core API's intact. Which is how it works in Windows. Apple wants every app installed on iOS to use ISO core services so Apple can make money.

20. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Some apps are in fact integrated with the core system, but do you see any reason for Stock or Apple Maps to be tied in like that? I sure as heck don't.

22. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Apple maps, probably some core use, stock, not at all.

24. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

But Maps has no reason to be built into the OS other than to force it on the consumer. Apple took a page from Microsoft's book when when they did the same thing with Internet Explorer, building it into Windows to force out Netscape Navigator as a competing browser. They ended up going to court for being an illegal monopoly over that stunt.

30. AlikMalix unregistered

Scott. The thing about maps is that iMessage and "find my friends " use it for their features. The findmyphone (a security feature) is also integrated. I'm not sure how These fraters would work without maps. Then there's location based reminders that you set and system uses to notify you with, Siri uses maps to provide relevant info

32. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

But that's the thing, Maps doesn't store location data locally, it connected with a server to gather that information. All those other applications that you said that use it simply have to link to the same server to get location data, or triangulate your location based off of pinging three of more cell towers or GPS, All the items you are saying that need Maps are perfectly capable of getting and sharing location data without the Maps app. The Maps app is simply an interface for people to interact with data from the server. Hell, that's almost what any app is any more.

34. AlikMalix unregistered

I guess you're right.

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