iOS 10 finally lets users delete annoying stock apps from their phone – but not really

Many of the apps are central to parts of the phone’s software, meaning that they won’t be removed so much as hidden

Click to follow
The Independent Tech

Finally, at long last, and after much waiting, Apple’s new iOS 10 brings perhaps the most requested iPhone feature ever. You can finally get rid of Stocks.

The new Apple update brings with it a whole host of changes, including new Messages apps and huge enhancements to Siri. But it might be something small and pedestrian that is the biggest feature of all.

You can now get rid of all of those cluttered apps – probably long relegated to a “junk” folder somewhere on your phone – that come with it but you never use.

Gone is the Watch app used for controlling a wearable that you may well not own. The Stocks app that you never use to track the financial markets is no more. And you can banish the Tips app that you’ve probably never touched since you got your iPhone.

The full list of the 23 apps that can be removed is below. But it includes basically everything that comes with the phone, excepting some apps like Phone and Messages that are central to how it actually works.

That is said to be why the change took so long – many of the apps might seem useless but were actually baked in to other parts of the phone, meaning that it was much harder than it might seem to get rid of them. So the Stocks app might seem unimportant, for instance, but if it was removed and then you asked Siri to check a share price it wouldn’t have known what to do.

But that also gets to a catch with the way that Apple has introduced the change. Some of the apps are still required for the software or are so baked into it that they can’t actually be pulled out.

So a lot of the apps won’t actually be deleted from the phone but instead hidden. When you delete them what actually happens is that the app icon disappears and that any data you have saved will be removed, but the code powering the app won’t be removed – and so will still take up space on your phone.

As such, while the new feature will be an excellent way of clearing out clutter from your phone screen, it won’t work especially well as a way of clearing up much needed space for more important things like music, photos or videos. But Apple says that shouldn’t be a big problem because taken together the apps only represent about 150MB.

Best features of iOS 10

The apps are deleted as usual – long pressing on an icon and then clicking the little cross that appears in the corner.

They are restored as you’d expect, too – by heading to the App Store and re-downloading it. In some cases that’s actually just pulling it back out from being hidden and isn’t downloading anything at all, but it won’t actually make any difference for what you do.

The full list of apps that can now be deleted

Find My Friends
iCloud Drive
iTunes Store
Voice Memos