Why Are Apple's Apps Suddenly So Lame?

ios junk appsMy junk folders. Also, how cool is my background, huh?

Photo: Screenshot

When I updated my iPhone to iOS 6 yesterday, I had to create a second “Junk” folder for all the included apps that I never use.It happens every year. Apple releases a new version of iOS and includes some new apps that just aren’t useful to me. Last year it was Reminders. This year it’s Passbook. In short, the horde of third-party developers dedicated to iOS tend to make much better apps than Apple can. (And that’s really good for you and me.)

But Apple now has so many useless apps that are built into iOS 6, I can’t fit them in one folder. And because they’re part of the OS, there’s no way to delete them.


  • I don’t use Music, I use Spotify.
  • I don’t use iTunes to get music, I use Spotify.
  • I don’t use Safari, I use Chrome.
  • I don’t use Game centre, because I don’t play a lot of games on my phone.
  • I don’t use Weather, I use Weather Channel.
  • I don’t use Voice Memos, I use Evernote.
  • I don’t use Notes, I use Evernote.
  • I don’t use Reminders, I use Clear.
  • I don’t use Compass, because…well, I really don’t know why the app exists in the first place.
  • And so on…

Then there are the apps Apple makes that don’t come included with iOS, but are equally awful. The most egregious is the new Podcasts app that launched this summer. I was jumping out of my skin to download Podcasts. But, as Jay Yarow wrote, the experience was terrible. It crashes, doesn’t respond to taps and swipes, and sometimes just displays a blank screen. Apple updated Podcasts a few weeks later, claiming it fixed the bugs, but it’s still just as bad.

Then there are some other terrible apps that Apple makes that aren’t exactly glitchy, but are still pretty useless like Find My Friends (just use Foursquare!) and Cards (why does this exist?). With almost every Apple app, I can name at least one or two third-party apps that can do the same thing, but better.

At the end of the day, it would benefit users more to be able to “hide” or delete unwanted Apple apps and select others as default for tasks like email and web browsing.

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