One thing that has long bugged iOS owners is the inability to remove stock apps, such as Compass, Tips, and well… Stocks, from their devices. Some new iTunes metadata indicates that ability might be on the way soon.
Apple has added two new keys labeled “isFirstParty” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp” in iTunes metadata released a few weeks ago. These keys suggest the ability to remove apps such as Stocks, Compass, and Voice Messages is coming, perhaps very soon.
The keys feature a boolean value (true/false), which also suggests not all of the apps will be hideable.
While the metadata doesn’t explicitly reveal info about how Apple might use those keys, it could lead to the ability for users to delete stock apps they don’t need, and then if they decide later they’d like one of the apps back on their device, they can make a quick visit to the App Store to restore that app(s).
9to5Mac notes such a move would also lessen such stock apps’ dependence on system updates for any app updates. Apple could push app updates via the App Store’s update capabilities, rather than needing to wait for an iOS update.
Apple Configurator 2.2, released earlier this year, now offers business and education users the ability to mass configure iOS devices, allowing them to hide apps. This is another hint about what could be on the way for personal users.
As Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference will likely be held in June, it possible we will see a feature like this being announced for “iOS 10.” We can only keep our fingers crossed that this is what will happen.