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Apple unbundles its native apps like Mail, Maps, Music and more, puts them in the App Store

TechCrunch TechCrunch 13/06/2016 Sarah Perez

Apple today has made a big change to its suite of native applications for iOS devices, like Mail, Stocks, Compass, Calculator, Watch, Weather and others: it’s now making these available as standalone downloads in the iTunes App Store. What that means for end users of iOS devices is that these apps will be updated more often – just like third-party applications are today.

Before, Apple’s apps were only updated when the company issued an iOS update. That slowed Apple’s ability to add new features, fix bugs, address security issues, or make other changes. This has been a massive headache for Apple’s internal development teams.

However, not all of Apple’s apps have been subject to this limitation. The company already made many of its apps available as standalone downloads, including iTunes U, iMovie, the Apple Store app, and those in the iWork suite (Pages, Keynote, Numbers.)

Now it’s adding the following to that list with the following: Podcasts, Maps, Compass, Tips, Calculator, Watch, Voice Memos, Contacts, Stocks, Weather, iCloud Drive, Calendar, Mail, Music, Reminders, Videos, FaceTime, and Notes.

Apple quietly published these apps to its iTunes website today (some are live now), but has not yet officially announced the change on stage at WWDC. Product Hunt spotted the Mail app in iTunes thanks to a tweet from Owen Williams, leading to speculation that Apple’s other apps will be made available through the App Store, as well.

As it turned out, they were.

Apple has not yet said if this change will make them user-removable, too  – which is a huge source of consumer frustration – but we will update if that’s announced during the keynote this morning.

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