Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

iTunes Metadata Suggests Forthcoming Ability to Hide Stock Apps on iOS

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

The additions to the internal API include keys for ‘isFirstParty’ and ‘isFirstPartyHideableApp’. In our testing, we could verify the existence of the boolean fields, but could only ever find them with a false value. This makes sense given that the App Store to date only hosts third-party apps offered as optional downloads. […]

Unfortunately, the iTunes metadata leak cannot reveal any info about how Apple plans to use these keys. Speculating, it could mean that Apple stock apps will start being listed in the App Store. For example, if a user hid the Stocks app but later decided they wanted to restore its position on their Home Screen, they would visit the App Store and re-download the app … mirroring the experience for third-party apps.

Several years ago, Apple began showing built-in apps when searching the App Store for particular keywords. I wouldn’t be surprised if these first-party results were to simply gain a “show” button — or similar — if the app were hidden on the user’s home screen.