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(Pocket-lint) - In the near future, you might not have to tuck stock iOS apps into folders.

Apple's iPhone and iPad come pre-loaded with Apple-developed apps, such as Compass and Stocks, but unfortunately, you're unable to remove these apps. Unlike third-party apps, which you can long-press on the home screen until they vibrate and become removable, stock iOS apps are permanent and can only be stowed in folders should you want to declutter your home screen.

All that could soon change, according to App Advice, which recently spotted new keys in iTunes metadata that suggested some stock apps might be removable one day. The keys are found on every app in the App Store and appear as "isFirstParty" and "isFirstPartyHideableApp". They are now set to false but could be turned on during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

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App Advice noted Apple is expected to announce the release of iOS 10 at WWDC 2016 in June, so the company could conceivably use the same developer event to announce API adjustments that will allow stock apps to be hidden. Keep in mind Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, told Buzzfeed News last autumn that Apple is considering letting consumers remove stock apps:

"This is a more complex issue than it first appears,” Cook explained. “There are some apps that are linked to something else on the iPhone. If they were to be removed they might cause issues elsewhere on the phone. There are other apps that aren’t like that. So over time, I think with the ones that aren’t like that, we’ll figure out a way [for you to remove them]. … It’s not that we want to suck up your real estate; we’re not motivated to do that. We want you to be happy. So I recognize that some people want to do this, and it’s something we’re looking at.” 

Although Apple has been stalling on this functionality because it could mess with the core iOS experience, it seems like the company is giving in a little and will at least let you get rid of some stock apps in the near future.

Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 6 April 2016.