Earlier this week, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference officially kicked off with its keynote speech, where a variety of different Apple employees (and employees of other companies) took the stage to talk about what's new coming to Apple's software and devices. There was plenty to take in, with Apple rattling it all off at a pretty quick clip, but there were still some elements that didn't even get mentioned.
There are a lot of new features in iOS, but one of them saw the light of day only after the keynote wrapped up. It's called "Offload Unused Apps," and it does exactly what the name implies. If you have a few apps on your phone that you might have wanted to use once, or maybe even used them a lot in the past, but have left them to squander on your device, this feature will take care of that for you.
It works similarly to an implementation released in iOS 9 in 2015, and very similar to the way the company Nextbit handled cloud storage/on-device-apps for its Robin smartphone. Basically if you have an app (or apps) on your device that don't get used all that often, if ever, then the feature will automatically offload it from the iOS device -- but keep the documents and data on there. It does this so if you want to install that app again, the important bits are still there and ready to go.
The apps that have been offloaded will appear grayed out on your device, and if you want to bring them back you just need to give the app icon a tap. iOS 11 users in the future will get to choose which apps they want to offload manually if they want, but the feature will also work automatically in the background depending on how much storage is remaining on your device.
So, good news for devices with minimal storage.
Storage space is always an important issue, so it's good to see Apple doing a lot with iOS 11 (including iCloud to help with other aspects of the software) to make it easier for people that might not have a phone with a ton of built-in storage. So instead of going the obvious route and asking how much storage you have on your phone, I'm going to go a more app-specific way.
This upcoming feature actually made me think about all the apps I have on my phone, and go through what's there and find out what I actually don't use anymore. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot there. I mostly discovered that I've still got a ton of calculator apps on there, for whatever reason, and a lot of writing apps, too. A variety of different weather apps on there, too, because apparently I can never get enough of seeing how sunny it is out there.
I deleted all of them, even ones I hesitated with and thought, "Well, maybe I'll use this again..." Because I know I really won't. I've got my favorite apps for those types of things, whether it's a built-in Apple stock app, or, usually, a third-party alternative. I love trying out new options, though, so I download a lot of them, and switch to something new if I can be convinced.
Apparently, whatever the result, there's a straggler that gets left behind.
What about you? How many apps do you have on your phone, and how many of those do you know you don't use on a regular basis? Do you find yourself deleting unused apps, or do you keep them around for whatever reason? Let me know!