Apple is a company that, like most of its competitors, has been encouraged to offer both hardware and software and services. And as it usually happens in these cases, we always have those applications installed by default in iOS that end up being surpassed by their competitors but that we cannot get rid of.
The consequence is that these applications are inevitably saved in a folder as a disaster drawer and marginalized until we need them very occasionally to test new things. Why doesn’t Apple let us uninstall them? Yes, they are integrated with the system itself, but you can always disable certain functions to make it possible. But of course, the idea is that they are used, and the general market uses the first thing that is found without worrying about looking for alternatives. There are more applications than you think.
- Mail: The mail manager has improved a lot in iOS 8, but some people still put it aside in favor of other alternatives depending on whether they are more linked to a more preferred service. Gmail, your Inbox, or the latest version of Outlook for iOS are examples that show that third-party mail managers are moving faster.
- Notes and Reminders: I put these two applications together because they are completely overshadowed by most task managers. Things, Wunderlist, Todoist… all include their own integrated tasks and alerts that even synchronize faster than with iCloud. Another more isolated example is Simplenote, which has only plain text notes but its cloud service is one of the most reliable I’ve seen.
- Time: Jonathan Ive himself confessed to being jealous of other time applications such as Yahoo Weather, which can be installed on iOS but force us to hide the system’s native application somewhere.
- Maps: I don’t know if it’s fair to say that Google Maps has won the battle since Apple’s own maps have improved a lot since its initial blunders, but it must also be said that many people still choose Google Maps because of its integrations. And those offline maps are now a must for many travelers.
- Calendar: This is another application that has more and more potential substitutes: the one acquired by Microsoft Sunrise Calendar, the same Outlook we talked about before, Fantastical, or the Google Calendar for iOS that we should see soon in the App Store.
- Stock Exchange: another application aimed at a few users interested in knowing the evolution of the price of some shares, when the vast majority park it in a forgotten folder. In addition, there are many more complete alternatives such as Mercado de Valores HD or Seeking Alpha.
- Tips is an application that I always recommend to novice users, because it’s a great way for them to learn tricks to master iOS. The bad thing is when you’ve been mastering that system for years and don’t need any more tips.
- Game Center, probably the least consulted application in the history of iOS. I’m sorry, Apple, but this attempt at a game-oriented social network has been well integrated but it hasn’t quite worked.
- Podcasts could be removed (in fact it was not installed by default), but now it has been permanently installed in an attempt by Apple to use that application instead of some third party client. The bad news for Cupertino is that those third party clients are many, and they are more and more complete. Podcast listeners, moreover, are quite demanding people who don’t scrimp on paying to get their favorite app.
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Temas de interés This has now been solved, but few magazines have been accommodated in that service.
- Calculator: OK, we don’t need too many paraphernalia for something as basic as a calculator, but… what if we want to install another alternative like Tydlig?
- Compass: one of those applications you use once to see how it works and impress your staff. Then, I’m afraid, it gets buried under other applications. We don’t want to know where north is, we want the whole route with options to go on foot or by public transport. Citymapper does it best for me.
- Voice notes is another application with many alternatives (last year we talked about Interviewy), although they all fulfill the basic function of being able to save our recorded notes. Perfect for interviews.
- Safari: I end with what may be the most debated, as very few are left with the alternatives. Safari is a very capable browser, and it’s become the absolute king of mobile traffic even including Android in the statistics. But if we use Chrome on our computers, there’s nothing like seeing all our data magically integrated just by logging in to Chrome for iOS. I remind you of the comparison we made, where both browsers were fairly evenly matched.