In the fall of 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that future versions of iOS could get rid of native apps of the iPhone. This function is part of user requests since the first versions ofiOS, and App Store application data suggest thatshe could become a reality soon.
It is by analyzing iTunes metadata present in all the applications of the App Store, that our colleagues ofAppAdvice discovered an interesting line of code in this regard. There are two new application keys, called “isFirstParty” and “isFirstPartyHideableApp”, respectively. Concretely, these two keys would allow the system to define if an application is actually native, and if the user has the right to hide it to make it disappear from its home screen. Metadata is a piece of code found in all applications and containing all the information concerning them, such as their size, their release date or their category in the App Store. These two new keys appeared in this data a few weeks ago, but have just been noticed.
Thus, the Stock Exchange, Compass, Dictaphone or Watch applications could be removed from the phone menu if they are not used, provided Apple authorizes it using metadata. For now, this data has the value “false”, which means thatiOS should ignore them. However, a simple change to the value “true” would take advantage of this long-awaited function. Anyway, Apple could announce these changes with the next version of iOS, which should be presented in June during WWDC.
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