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Apple finally brings the option to hide apps on iPhones

iOS finally got an old Android feature.

Published onJune 10, 2024

apple iphone 15 app drawer on table
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • iOS 18 will let users lock and hide individual apps on their phones.
  • These apps will require authentication to access even if the phone is unlocked.
  • The hidden apps will not be visible in the app drawer.

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 has kicked off, delivering a slew of exciting announcements, especially regarding the much-anticipated iOS 18. One of the big early announcements was the introduction of a long-requested feature: the ability to lock individual apps on the iPhone.

This new functionality will allow users to lock individual apps, including the built-in Apple apps and third-party apps. A good use case would be when you hand your phone to someone, locked apps will remain secure and locked, even if your phone itself is unlocked.

Apple’s app lock feature differs from Android’s longstanding App Lock mode. Android’s version locks the phone to the current running app, allowing the user to access only that app unless biometrics or a PIN is used to exit. In contrast, Apple’s app lock secures specific apps that you have previously selected.

Apple WWDC24 iOS 18 locked app 1

To access these locked apps, users will need to authenticate with Face ID, and the feature will also support Touch ID or a passcode. Additionally, users can hide apps they wish to keep discreet, which will not be visible in the app drawer and will only be accessible through authentication.

Apple WWDC24 iOS 18 locked app 2

Furthermore, iOS 18 will ensure that while the app lock feature is active, information from within these locked apps does not appear in search results or notifications. This feature is somewhat similar to Android 15’s new Private Space and Samsung’s Secure Folder, which also hides sensitive apps behind authentication.

Apple WWDC24 iOS 18 locked app 3

Although iPhone users have previously employed workarounds like Screen Time restrictions to lock apps, iOS 18 will finally give users a straightforward way to do it.

Be sure to check out our full coverage for a comprehensive look at the other announcements from Apple’s WWDC. The first iOS 18 beta is expected to be available to Apple Developer Program members immediately following the keynote, with a general release anticipated in September.

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