Nearly everyone with an iPhone has the same folder: a group of Apple’s first-party apps, such as Weather, Compass, and Stocks, that they rarely use. All of those apps typically go into one folder that’s rarely opened.
Users may be getting the ability to hide those unwanted Apple apps soon, though, according to new settings discovered in code for the App Store. App Advice recently discovered two new “flags” for classifying apps: “isFirstParty” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp.”
These metadata flags suggest that Apple is planning to classify some of its apps as “hideable,” answering one of users’ biggest complaints for years. Given that Apple’s App Store selection is so huge that there are better third-party alternatives for most built-in apps, many users have ditched Apple’s defaults for their preferred experience years ago.
Of course, not all Apple apps will be hideable. It’s safe to assume the dialer and messages app will need to stay on your home screen, for example. But Apple bundles over 30 apps by default on iPhones, and its safe to assume that Apple sees that some of them are rarely used.
CEO Tim Cook said in September that the company was “looking at” offering the ability to hide unwanted Apple apps.
In the most recent update to iOS, Apple started to give system administrators who manage multiple devices for schools or businesses the ability to hide Apple’s built-in apps, although it’s a huge pain to do for a consumer who only manages his or her personal phone.
Keep in mind that these are only developer flags, and there are no announced plans yet, but it’s possible that a feature is introduced this summer at Apple’s annual developer’s conference.
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