The first beta version of iOS 16 was made available to developers earlier this week, and we now know more about some of its new features, including a customizable lock screen and new iMessage capabilities. Additionally, Apple will now allow users to uninstall the Find, Health and Clock apps via an update.
The ability to uninstall Apple apps that come preinstalled on iOS is not a new feature. Starting with iOS 10, users can delete apps like Calculator, Calendar, Mail, Music, Notes, and Podcasts. Over the years, Apple has expanded the list of native system apps that can be removed from the iPhone and iPad. Find, Health, and Clock are now part of this list.
These three apps can now be removed from iOS 16 and iPadOS 16. Of course, by removing the Find, Health, or Clock apps from your device, you could end up losing some system functionality.
For Find, deleting the app doesn’t turn off built-in Find features like Find My Friends. A message reminds users that after uninstalling the app, any people, devices, or items associated with their Apple ID still exist, and users can still manage those options in the Settings app.
But, as expected, you won’t be able to find your device and accessories (like AirTag) without the app installed. Apps deleted from iOS can be reinstalled through the App Store at any time. There are only a few native Apple apps that still cannot be uninstalled, such as Phone, Safari, Messages, and the App Store.
More pre-installed apps could be removed, an explanation that could be related to Apple’s recent antitrust investigation. Back in 2020, the European Union raised the possibility of banning tech companies from forcing users to install all their own apps. Others have accused Apple of using its control of iOS to push its own services.
Since iOS 14.3, Apple has added new steps to the setup process for a new iPhone or iPad, suggesting some third-party apps to users to comply with government requirements such as Russia. Therefore, having users delete all iOS apps may reduce the company’s chances of being subject to further antitrust lawsuits.