It was probably the most exciting bit of Apple news that Apple didn’t trumpet at its WWDC keynote Monday: As of the launch of iOS 10 this fall, you will finally be able to delete most of the company’s default apps from your iPhone.
In theory, that’s great news for anyone who has ever gathered apps like Mail, Maps, Tips, Reminders and Stocks together in a folder called something like “Wish I could delete.” In practice, however, it may make some non-Apple apps unusable.
As far as we know, the only pre-installed apps you won’t be able to remove are Safari, the App Store, Find iPhone, Messages, Phone, Photos, Settings, Wallet, Clock and Camera.
On the one hand, this is very encouraging news; it seems the company has finally woken up and accepted that millions of iPhone users don’t want to remain exclusively inside its walled garden. It’s a reversal from the extra bloatware inserted in iOS 9, and a follow-through on a promise Tim Cook made last year.
On the other hand, users deleting Apple’s core apps may create headaches for other apps that rely on them.
Mashable tested this Monday in an early developer beta version of iOS 10. Specifically, we wanted to look at what happens if you delete the company’s much-maligned (if much-improved) Maps App — which many other apps use as their only mapping service.
For example, the Yelp iOS app utilizes Apple Maps. Yelp currently does not offer a Google Maps option. So if you delete the default Maps app in iOS 10 and open Yelp, you get this error message.
Mashable reached out to Yelp for comment. A spokesperson declined, telling us it was too early for the company to share thoughts on the nuances of iOS 10.
It isn’t just Maps. Other apps rely on the built-in Mail app to send emails, and the Weather app to find your local weather information. Indeed, this is likely the reason Apple won’t let you delete Safari — because so many third-party apps rely on it for their built-in browser.
It’s entirely possible that most major developers will have fixed all default app-related problems by the time iOS 10 launches. But as previous iOS launches have shown, not every developer has made their app ready by launch day.
Will Apple’s willingness to cede control of its stock apps result in any other bugs? We’ll find out this fall.