Apple's WWDC 2016 keynote saw a host of announcements by CEO Tim Cook and his team. The big highlights were the unveil of Siri SDK, Siri on Mac, watchOS 3 improvements, macOS Sierra, and of course iOS 10. Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi enlisted all the big changes that came along with the new iOS version, like the new Notification design, iMessage improvements, Maps improvement, Apple Music revamp and much more. However, Apple did not mention one big change that iOS 10 brings along - the ability to uninstall built-in apps.
With iOS 10, Apple will allow users to uninstall certain stock apps that they may never use. On its support page, Apple has mentioned the steps in which users can remove stock apps from their iOS devices running on iOS 10 beta. Even though Apple brings this new ability to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, it does serve a disclaimer for users before uninstalling.
"When you remove a built-in app from your Home screen, you also remove any related user data and configuration files. This can affect things like related system functions or information on your Apple Watch," the company states on its support page.
Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi clarified that users are not actually deleting the app itself when the 'Remove' it, but only the user data. They were speaking (via 9to5Mac) on John Gruber's podcast, The Talk Show.
Of course, it is important to note that some of the apps like Stocks and Weather fuel information to the Notification Center, and uninstalling those apps will also remove information from these places. Similarly, if the Calcuator app is uninstalled, then it won't show up in Control Center as well. Apps like Messages, Photos, and Camera cannot be uninstalled however.
In any case, there are a lot of built-in apps that Apple offers on its iOS devices. It has listed 23 apps that could be uninstalled with iOS 10, and it includes Calculator, Calendar, Compass, Contacts, FaceTime, Find My Friends, Home, iBooks, iCloud Drive, iTunes Store, Mail, Maps, Music, News, Notes, Podcasts, Reminders, Stocks, Tips, Videos, Voice Memo, Watch app, and Weather apps.
Apple asserts that all these combined take up only 150MB on the iOS device. Once the app is removed, it can be easily re-installed through the App Store. Apple has started listing various built-in apps on the store, however, Federighi and Schiller noted that this does not imply users will get updates for these stock apps via the App Store. Apple would still use OS updates to roll out stock app updates.
This functionality comes with iOS 10 beta in July, but the News app will be removable in a later version of iOS 10 beta. The Contacts app can only be removed from iPhones, and not all iOS devices. As the tradition goes, the public version of iOS 10 will release in fall with the new iPhone 7.