With watchOS 9.4, you can delete built-in apps directly from the Apple Watch

The watchOS 9.4 update released today has a hidden feature that allows you to delete built-in apps directly from the Apple Watch. Apple didn’t mention this feature in the update’s release notes, but a support document on deleting built-in apps from various devices has been updated.

According to Apple, the following apps can be deleted from the Apple Watch if you’re running watchOS 9.4 or later:

Activity Depth Emergency Siren Find My Heart Rate Maps Wallet Workout World Clock

Prior to watchOS 9.4, you could remove an app from your Apple Watch by removing it from your iPhone, but the app had to be deleted from both devices. With watchOS 9.4, you can delete an app like Activity or Maps on your Apple Watch and leave it intact on the “iPhone”.

Apple warns that deleting built-in apps may affect the device’s core functionality. For example, if you delete the heart rate app, the Apple Watch will not be able to send high heart rate, low heart rate, irregular rhythm, and cardio fitness notifications.

Apple has come under fire for requiring its apps to be installed on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch devices, so it has implemented apps-wiping tools in recent years. iOS 14 in particular has added support for deleting a variety of built-in apps, which is useful for those who prefer to use third-party alternatives.

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