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Earlier this week, during the keynote of Apple's annual developers' conference, CEO Tim Cook weirdly did not announce a new option that iPhone users have been asking for since Day 1: the ability to delete Apple's in-house apps from their phones. Finally being able to banish "Stocks" and "Apple Maps" from the iPhone is a big deal.

The move is a win for iPhone users on two fronts. It gives them what they want (app autonomy) and, should they decide to keep the apps, lets them update them more frequently.


"Part of the change that allows you to uninstall these apps is that they're now just normal apps in the app store," Charlie Wray, a software developer at a finance company in San Francisco, told me. "You can download Stocks just like Facebook now. This means they're in the same channel for automatic updates and Apple can make changes as needed instead of waiting 'til a new version for the whole OS."

Some users might not care. They may feel that the Apple apps are fine and do what they're designed to, but for those of us who have found better apps, this will get rid of redundancies and ensure that your mapping app of choice is loaded when you click on an address instead of defaulting to Apple Maps.

So, what are the apps you can kick to the curb now and, more importantly, should you?

These 23 apps


I don't see GameCenter or Clock in there, what gives?

Good news, friend. GameCenter is just straight-up gone. Clock's sticking around (what's your beef with Clock?) and is even getting a new feature called Wake Alarm that prompts you to go to bed based on when your alarm is set to go off in the morning. Finally, an app to replace mom.

How do I delete them?

The same way you would any other app: hold the icon down, wait until all the other icons start dancing, and then X out the app you want to put the kibosh on. Apple says that this will "remove any related user data and configuration files." So, if you run into a problem, and another app needs one that you deleted, you can always hop into the App Store and get it again—they're free.


Apple also says that these apps are designed to be "very space efficient," so you will clear up some space (about 150 MB), but if you download a third-party app that serves a similar function, it may be a larger file. Food for thought as we go forward here.

You need to upgrade to iOS 10 beta

You need the developer beta in order to start doing this, but by all accounts, this is going to be a feature in iOS 10. Apps like Stocks and Compass are already showing up in the app store. A change is going to come. The public beta is supposed to go live in July, but in the mean time, you can join a special Apple program for developers and start deleting apps now. For a one-time membership fee of $100. Just how much do you need to lose iBooks?

Should I keep it?


Delete or Keep: Keep

I have completely forgotten how to do math that is more advanced than dividing something by two. I use calculator a lot, but not enough to seek out an all-new calculator app.


Delete or Keep: Keep

I've got my personal account and my work email synced to this already and I'm not going to spend time getting that synced up in a different app. That said, those calendars are Google-based and Google Calendar's got an app. Fantastical 2 is a more robust (and great-looking) calendar app, but it costs $5. If you're like me and only use Calendar for reminders about meetings, birthday parties, and events you're attending with a friend who made a Calendar event and invited you to it, Apple's app is fine.


Delete or Keep: Delete

Compass is incredibly useful, don't get me wrong. I used it last weekend when I was in an unfamiliar part of town and knew I needed to go south. However, if you've ever opened Apple's Compass app and been confused by it, might I introduce you to Compass°? This app makes misusing it impossible as the direction you are facing displays as a screen-sized N (if you're facing north, of course). So easy that I could use it.


Delete or Keep: Delete

This one is iPhone only, but it can go. Why? As Apple notes: "If you remove Contacts, you won’t lose your contact information. You can still find all of that information in the Phone app." Get rid of that clutter.


Delete or Keep: Keep

FaceTime is the only app that FaceTimes and chances are the people you FaceTime with (relatives, friends in other cities or abroad) are using FaceTime, too. FaceTime-ing's fine.

Find My Friends

Delete or Keep: Delete

What even is this? (I know it lets you and other iOS-using pals physically locate each other. But why not just text!?) Bye!


Delete or Keep: Keep

I have not used Home yet because it's new—it'll be part of iOS 10. It's an app that will let you control all your smart appliances. I currently do not own any smart appliances (aside from the phone, which I don't think Home controls [/giphy ouroboros]), but I am nothing if not aspirational. Someday I will not have to get up to turn out the lights and sit in the dark.


Delete or Keep: Delete

Don't tell me you use iBooks as your e-reader. I refuse to believe that there is anyone who does not use the Kindle app for this.

iCloud Drive

Delete or Keep: Keep.

You could delete it if you only use Google Drive, or something, but chances are that you've got photos or something in the iCloud. This app lets you access whatever's up there on your phone. It stays.

iTunes Store

Delete or Keep: Keep

Gotta get stuff through the iTunes Store, somehow, right?


Delete or Keep: Delete

I miss MailBox, tremendously. The Mail app has been my default app since DropBox shuttered that app and I haven't been at inbox zero since. The app is good for integrating multiple accounts into one feed, but it's annoying when you want to delete emails from multiple accounts but you can only archive from, oh, let's say, your work email. I've been experimenting with Google's Inbox and it's been ok (the suggested replies will surely make this interpersonal communication even more robotic!), but what I'm really enjoying is Spark. It's got a nice interface and its easy to use. If I squint it's like I'm back in Mailbox. There are a bunch of apps you can pay for, if you must, but that is your prerogative.


Delete or Keep: Delete

Google Maps exists.


Delete or Keep: Keep

Apple notes: "If you remove the Music app, it won’t be available to use with CarPlay."

If you subscribe to Apple music, you need this app. Simple as that. This is also where all the music from your iTunes lives, so if you've ever spent $0.99 on the song of the summer, you'll need if you ever want to "Get Lucky" again when you're at the gym.


Delete or Keep: Keep

First things first, Apple notes: "The News app will be removable in a later version of iOS 10 beta." So you can't even delete it yet if you wanted to, but why would you want to? While every news source you enjoy might not be on News yet, a lot are. If you're at all interested in being aware of current events, it's highly useful.


Delete or Keep: Keep

I use Notes all the time for everything from ideas to grocery lists to To-Do lists. I cannot be alone in that. I'm keeping this one.


Delete or Keep: Keep(?)

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Probably too many, and I am not alone here at Fusion. The Podcast apps has a good interface (imo) and updates in the morning. What more do you need, really?


Well, everyone I know who has made the switch swears by Stitcher. There are other apps out there, but people seem to love Stitcher—otherwise why would a company that owns a podcast network buy it for $4.5 million? Elsewhere, if you're only listening to Comedy Bang Bang or WTF with Marc Maron, Earwolf's HOWL app is pretty nifty and offers exclusives for a monthly subscription cost.


Delete or Keep: Delete

I've never used Reminders before but it seems a lot like Calendar and Notes and since I am already using those, I am not going to bother breaking that habit to fold two functions into one. I'm not that starved for productivity boosts.


Delete or Keep: Delete

No one likes you, Stocks.


Delete or Keep: Delete

Tips sends push notifications with tips for things you can do with your iOS device. No thanks.


Delete or Keep: Delete

Videos you've taken on your phone are in Camera, so what you're dealing with here is actually movies you've purchased or rented from iTunes. Keep it only if you're watching movies on your phone.

Voice Memos

Delete or Keep: Keep

What are you going to do if your hands are sticky and you need to record a quick idea or a rambling screed? Ask Siri to open up Voice Memos, of course.


Delete or Keep: Delete

First, Apple notes: "If you try to remove the Watch app from an iPhone that’s paired with an Apple Watch, an alert asks you to unpair your Apple Watch before you can remove the app."


I don't have an Apple Watch because my phone is my watch and pedometer and most things an Apple Watch does. If you have one and want to sync it with your phone, keep the app.


Delete or Keep: Keep (with a caveat)

The Weather app on the iPhone is the one that I probably use the most, but there are a preponderance of weather apps out there that do more than bare bones temperature and precipitation levels. Dark Sky ($4) can tell you, with pretty good accuracy, exactly when it's about to rain. Seasonality Go ($6) offers a lot of atmospheric info as well as the usual data, giving aspiring Weather Channel correspondents something to tool around with before their on-camera test.


If you're only going to use the app to check the temperature, the Weather app is fine. However, if you want more, delete it and go with an app like Poncho (free) which doubles as an alarm clock.

David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: