New iTunes Metadata Suggests Users May Soon Be Able to Hide Stock iOS Apps

Apple may be laying the groundwork to allow users to remove or hide stock iOS apps, such as Compass and Tips, from their iPhones in an upcoming version of its mobile software, based on recently added metadata keys showing up on App Store apps.

Stock iOS Apps
As discovered by AppAdvice, Apple several weeks ago added a new pair of keys called "isFirstParty" and "isFirstPartyHideableApp" to the metadata of every App Store listing in iTunes. The new keys allow for a Boolean value of "true" or "false" to denote whether the app would be allowed to be hidden or removed from the user's iPhone. It's unclear whether the metadata is referring to an Apple-approved way to simply hide the first-party apps, or remove them altogether.

Last September, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the long-standing desire by users to remove apps like Stocks and Voice Memos from their iPhones to reduce clutter of unused apps. He admitted the company was at a bit of an impasse over the situation, because while some of its first-party experiences could be removed without much of a headache, certain apps "are linked to something else on the iPhone." Their removal could begin a domino effect of bugs and issues elsewhere in iOS, so implementing a feature allowing their removal would be understandably risky.

Stock Apps metadata

Image via AppAdvice

The hints found in the metadata of iTunes could be the potential solution, with Apple specifically targeting first-party apps that are safe to hide or remove, and letting users decide on their end if they choose to do so. With no official word from Apple on the topic since last year, it's hard to say when -- or if -- we will see such a feature implemented into iOS, although iOS 10 coming later this year is an obvious opportunity.

Users looking to minimize clutter from less popular stock apps such as Tips and Compass, and even newer editions like Health and News in some cases, frequently sequester their least favorite apps into a forgotten folder somewhere on their home screens, but some have even gotten crafty in figuring out ways to go one step further in removing unsightly crammed folders from their home screens, without needing to resort to jailbreaking their devices.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
maxresdefault

First Look at Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

Thursday June 13, 2024 11:29 am PDT by
Apple has been gradually expanding its suite of satellite connectivity features for iPhone, and iOS 18 brings a significant new one in the form of Messages via satellite. The feature allows users to send and receive iMessages and SMS texts, including emoji and Tapbacks, while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. CNET met up with Apple's senior director of platform product marketing,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
Generic iOS 18 Feature Real Mock

Your iPhone 15 Can Show the Time When It's Out of Battery in iOS 18

Wednesday June 12, 2024 2:57 pm PDT by
The iPhone has had a Power Reserve function that holds back a small amount of battery life to allow features like Find My and NFC unlocking to work even when your device has died, and in iOS 18, Apple seems to be improving the feature further for the iPhone 15 models. As demonstrated on Reddit, when the battery on an iPhone running iOS 18 is exhausted, the phone can continue to show the time ...

Top Rated Comments

levitynyc Avatar
107 months ago
This means the end of the "Crapple" folder.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hybrid_x Avatar
107 months ago
I don't see what the big deal is with being able to hide the default apps. Just collect the ones you don't want to see into a folder, and bury it on the last home screen. Done. Hidden.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Rules Avatar
107 months ago
Isn't this one of the signs of the apocalypse?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jasonklee Avatar
107 months ago
Finally. Can't wait to remove useless apps like Game Center, Tips, Compass, Messages, Safari, News, Health, Calendar, Photos, Camera, FaceTime, Contacts, Settings, App Store, iTunes Store, Music, Mail, Stocks, Reminders, Notes, Videos, Maps, Wallet, Watch, Activity, iBooks, Podcasts, Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, Calculator, Voice Memos, and Phone.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scottish Avatar
107 months ago
This would be great!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gsmornot Avatar
107 months ago
This says hide, not remove. Is that right? If so, I'm already doing this.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)