Apple metadata reveals it could soon be time to say goodbye to screen-hogging apps for good
iPhone users tired of overcrowded screens could soon be able to hide or delete native Apple applications from their home screen with an update to iOS.
Apple’s devices come with a range of standard apps, such as Stocks, Find My Friends, Compass and Tips, but some are seldom-used by users who are unable to delete them and must instead bury them in folders. For example, the Apple Watch app cannot be removed, even if you don’t own the wearable and have no intention of buying one..
The company has not yet replied to a request for comment, but it is thought the new feature to iOS could be announced next month at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
The news was first noticed by AppAdvice, which noticed that Apple has added two new keys labelled “isFirstParty” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp” into iTunes metadata a few days ago.
The wording of this suggests that users will be able to both hide and remove these apps, as the metadata normally contains all sorts of information about an app, its functions and privileges.
Screenshots obtained by the website show that every single app in the App Store now has these keys, which for now are all set to “false,” but the fact that they exist suggests that Apple will use this system to introduce the ability to choose which apps users see.
Apple has previously warned against fiddling with its apps, with company CEO Tim Cook saying that getting rid of them could render the handset unusable.
Cook had said that, “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.”
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