Ice Cream Sandwich lets you disable Google apps

Anybody who's recently downloaded iOS 5 or stared glumly at a Windows Phone 7 app screen and wished that some of the native applications weren't displayed so prominently should take a glance at the new Android operation system, Ice Cream Sandwich. Rather than force you to have apps, such as Google Books, on display at all times, you can now remove them from sight. Completely.

ICS (Android 4.0), you see, allows you to disable built-in apps that you don't use, thereby removing their icons from your home screen or app list.

The new feature won't remove the app entire however, simply hide it from view, as Dave Burke, an engineer at Google, told us. He also demonstrated that you can re-enable any application at a press of a button in the settings menu.

It's a new function that should keep Ice Cream Sandwich devices free from clutter, and it'd be good if Apple takes note. After all, who really wants Newsstand on their front page, sitting empty like a looted newsagents?

Would you use this new feature? Would you like to see similar on your Apple or WP7 device? Let us know in the comments below...

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