Apple iPhone 6s Plus, 6s, and SE
Every iPhone and iPad comes with a plethora of Apple-made apps, some of which are much mode widely useful than others. But now it seems like Apple may finally let you choose which apps are hidden from view.
AppAdvice discovered that Apple has added two new keys to iTunes metadata, called "isFirstParty" and "isFirstPartyHideableApp" respectively. It's pretty straightforward, really: first-party apps are those made by Apple, and the ability to hide them is certainly something new for the company.
The site says that these keys started appearing on all App Store apps within the last few weeks, and that they also have a true/false value that hints that some apps can't be hidden. That's not a surprise, especially when it comes to core communication and storefront apps. But things like Stocks and Tips? It sounds like you'll be welcome to permanently tuck them away from sight.
Granted, they won't be deleted from the phone, and Apple CEO Tim Cook teased as much in an interview last September. He said "it's a more complex issue than it first appears," but said they were working on a solution for hiding certain stock apps.
"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," Cook told BuzzFeed News back when. "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," he added. "We want you to be happy. So I recognize that some people want to do this, and it’s something we’re looking at."
Apple already offers the functionality to educational and enterprise users thanks to recent updates, so a consumer option seems reasonable enough. If it's coming soon, as the metadata additions suggest, we may see it introduced with iOS 10 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.