One of the biggest announcements from WWDC 2016 wasn't actually announced on stage: removable default apps.
Apple failed to mention during its main keynote that it plans to unbundle apps from iOS 10. For the first time, iPhone and iPad owners will be able to delete some of Apple's own apps - like Maps, Calculator, Music, Videos - from their homescreen. They'll also be able to re-download them. We know this because those apps have landed in the App Store with descriptions and screenshots and everything.
Also, developers who've already downloaded today's developer beta have confirmed the news. That said, it appears as though apps like Messages, Photos, and Camera cannot be deleted. We're assuming they're too tied into the iOS system to be removed. Apple has published this help page with more information on removing built-in apps, warning you may see some issues if you remove its default apps.
It's worth noting that although the apps are removed from the home screen, they're not completely deleted from the system. Instead, there's a binary file for each app you remove still sitting in iOS. That means you can reinstall the apps from the App Store even when you have no internet connection.
User data will also be wiped with any deleted app, Apple explained. You'll lose any integrations with other features and services too. So, if you delete the Music app, you will not have access to Apple's music services via CarPlay. Below is the entire list of default apps that can be removed. You'll notice that Game Center is not on the list - so alas, you've still got to tuck that annoying one away.
Android users will be quick to point out that Google already did this sort of thing with Google Play Services in order to speed up how it delivers new features to software. Also, iPhone and iPhone users still need to wait on setting new default apps for things like email, etc. That capability is not yet available and may never be. Keep in mind iOS 10 is still new, so such functionality could arrive one day.
Apple is expected to officially release iOS 10 with this new feature in autumn, alongside its latest iPhones.
Confirmed: stock apps are removable!!! pic.twitter.com/hk7Jk98Rli— Matt Ellison (@iWindowsTech) June 13, 2016
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