Based on our reporting, Apple will soon allow users to remove certain stock apps from iOS. Many will do so because they simply don’t have a need for apps that track financial stocks or record voice memos. Others will do so because they already use third-party apps to get the job done.
Not all native apps will be removable; the most likely candidates are Weather, Reminders, Stocks, Calculator, Podcasts, and Voice Memos. For those ready to say goodbye to Apple’s native apps, we offer our favorite alternatives.
Listen to Podcasts with Overcast
We’ve been promoting Overcast over Apple’s Podcasts app since May 2015. One year later, our opinion hasn’t changed.
As Joe White noted, “Overcast’s strengths are numerous. First, the app’s UI is hugely appealing, and adopts a simple orange-on-white design that fits with the feel of Apple’s iOS really well. You can browse through your asubstriptions in the app, and these automatically update when new episodes are published; if you like, Overcast can also send out a notification for when new shows are available to listen to. As you’d expect, you can create playlists in the app, and new podcasts can be added using Overcast’s built-in discovery interface. The application also supports the Apple Watch, allowing users to launch podcasts on their iPhone using the smartwatch; it’s a simple extension, but one I’ve found myself using frequently. However, it’s Overcast’s sync support, and its offering of a Web-based player, which is a real boon for users. You see, because Overcast requires users to sign-up for a free account, it allows iOS device owners to log-in to their account at Overcast.fm and listen, or continue listening, to unplayed and activate podcasts.”
Pros: Fantastic interface, quick navigation.
Cons: You’ll need to upgrade to change to a dark background and upload files.
Replace Reminders and Voice Memos with Evernote
Evernote is your one-stop solution for taking notes, syncing data, and sharing your ideas. These notes can take various forms, which is one reason the service is so popular, including formatted text, webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note.
Unlike Apple’s Reminders, Evernote is available across multiple platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows.
Pros: Evernote is arguably the best note-taking solution on the planet.
Cons: An Evernote Premium account is required to perform some tasks.
Dark Sky is a robust Weather replacement
Dark Sky is a feature-rich weather app that is simple to use. Beautifully designed, the app looks gorgeous on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. From push notifications to incredible graphics to nifty weather animations, Dark Sky has you covered. Best of all, unlike some other weather apps, you don’t have to be a meteorologist to understand it.
Pros: When storms are coming, few apps have you covered like Dark Sky.
Cons: Some might not want to pay $3.99 for a weather app.
PCalc is what Calculator should have been
Apple’s Calculator, like its Stocks app, was designed to serve a simple purpose. Many users, however, want to go beyond simple. So is the case with PCalc, which calls itself the “best calculator on the App Store,” and with good reason.
PCalc is a feature-rich calculator for scientists, engineers, students, and computer programmers. It includes an optional RPN mode and multi-line display, a choice of button layouts, an extensive set of unit conversions and constants, a paper tape, multiple undo and redo, engineering and scientific notation, as well as support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations.
Pros: There is little this calculator can’t do.
Cons: Binary? Hexadecimal? If you don’t think you need this calculator, you probably don’t.
Trade up with Stock Market Pro
Little has changed about Apple’s Stocks app since it was first released with the original iPhone in 2007. Quotes are provided in real-time; in earlier versions of iOS, they were delayed by up to 20 minutes. Later versions added company-specific news.
Stock Market HD Pro looks similar to Apple’s native app. However, it does much more, including:
- Unlimited portfolios each containing unlimited stocks
- Track your gains and losses by stock and by entire portfolio
- All the key details, such as daily open, high and low, volume, price/earnings ratio and market cap.
- Chart view to visualize changes over time
- Browse all news related to a particular stock and share stories via Facebook and Twitter
Pros: Familiar look with advanced tools; available on iPad, unlike the Stocks app.
Cons: Pricey and might be overkill for some.
The ability to remove some native apps from the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad should be a feature on “iOS 10,” which is likely to be announced in June. Initially available through iOS betas only, the change would become available to the general public when Apple releases the “iPhone 7” in the fall.