Apple Watch owners will be able to ditch native apps in watchOS 6

Ability to delete first-party apps landing later this year
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Apple Watch owners will soon be able to get rid of the company's own built-in apps from their smartwatch.

It's already been possible to ditch third-party Apple Watch apps simply by pressing and holding on the app icon on your Watch and hitting 'X' to get rid. Now, you'll be able to do the same for apps like Remote, Alarm, Timer, Stopwatch, Breathe and Apple's ECG app.

Essential reading: Best Apple Watch apps to download now

The ability to do that will be introduced in watchOS 6, which launches later this year. It's not a feature currently supported in the live watchOS 6 beta, although the feature has been described to TechCrunch by people familiar with the new software addition.

One of the reasons it's not possible to do this on current Apple Watches is down to the fact that there is no app equivalent that lives on your iOS device. That will change for watchOS 6 when those native Watch apps will now feature inside of Apple's App Store letting you delete and reinstall if you so wish.

It seems that not all of these first party apps will be deletable, though, with Heart Rate and Messages apps among the apps that can not be removed.

The decision to offer Watch owners more control over what lives on their smartwatch coincides with the introduction of an on-device App Store, which Apple unveiled would be added in watchOS 6 at its Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this month.

Along with the new App Store, Apple is set to introduce new first party apps including Audiobooks, Voice Memos and Calculator. It's also gong to roll out a Cycle Tracking app for women's health tracking and a new Noise app to help protect you hearing.

If none of those new additions sound all that appealing though, it's good to know you'll now be able to decide whether they should take up space on your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch owners will be able to ditch native apps in watchOS 6

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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