Some Apple Watch apps can now be deleted directly from the smartwatch without affecting the iPhone version, with more native options now also able to be removed.
That’s a change coming to all Apple smartwatches through the company’s latest watchOS 9.4 software update. It ensures users can finally remove native Apple Watch apps like Wallet or Maps – and do so without the iPhone app also being deleted.
The company only introduced the ability to delete a portion of stock apps from the Apple Watch back in 2019 through watchOS 6, but, even then, users had to also see it deleted from their iPhones.
This latest change means a user can now have the Find My app on their iPhone without also having to see it on their smartwatch, for example.
And though the list of deletable apps has now been expanded to include Activity, Depth, Emergency Siren, Find My, Heart Rate, Maps, Wallet, Workout and World Clock, there are still some that you can’t delete, such as Audiobooks and Photos.
Some of these apps we can’t see many users deleting, like Activity, Workout, or Heart Rate, as they’re fairly pivotal to the tracking experience, but the choice does mean less crucial ones can now make way for more storage space and room in the app grid.
Apple will also warn you that the tracking experience will be hampered if you try and remove those more essential apps.
It doesn’t appear the change goes the other way just yet, though.
Going off the information Apple provides on its support page for deleting apps, removing an app on your iPhone will still delete it from the Apple Watch.
So, it appears you can’t have apps like Activity downloaded on the Apple Watch without also having it appear on the iPhone.
Still, this new change does show that the amount of choice given to users is slowly improving.
And it’s not the only important change coming in watchOS 9.4, with Apple also introducing a fix for tardy alarms.
By Conor Allison
Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.
Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable’s considerable how-to-based guides.
He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror.