iOS12: can't get rid of the Activity app anymore?

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
708
487
A few versions ago, Apple gave users the ability to delete stock apps. I was thrilled to get rid of things like Reminders (which I've never figured out how to make it actually remind me of anything), Stocks, and Activity. I was so glad to see that one go away.

A couple point-updates before the end of iOS11, I found that Activity would suddenly reappear on my screen. I'd delete it again, get the stupid dialog informing me that all of my data (which shouldn't amount to any more than zero bytes, as I'd never even clicked on the app to open it), and see it vanish while I hoped I'd never see it again. It would reappear from time to time, but would always go away without a fight.

Now I have iOS12 installed, and I can't even get it to delete. I'm only allowed to "offload" it, but even then the stupid thing still sits on the screen, just with a little cloud symbol attached.

Yes, I know I can put it in my "Crap" folder along with the other things I don't want to see. I've done that. I still want it gone. I'd also like to be able to delete the only thing in the "Manage Storage" controls that I can't delete: Health data. I've never used the Health app, never will, yet the storage space used for that app continues to grow. Its up to 3MB now, for an app I've never used. Where is it getting that data, and how do I get rid of it?

Anyone have any contact info for submitting OS feature suggestions to Apple?
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
3,303
2,010
Where is it getting that data, and how do I get rid of it?
More than likely, "sensor data including body motion, step count, stairs climbed and more" from the motion coprocessor in your phone.

Go to settings -> privacy -> Motion & Fitness and disable it. It should stop growing then.

To delete the data that exists, open health -> sources (at the bottom) -> select the device(s) listed -> "Delete All Data from" <<Device Name>>.
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
708
487
More than likely, "sensor data including body motion, step count, stairs climbed and more" from the motion coprocessor in your phone.

Go to settings -> privacy -> Motion & Fitness and disable it. It should stop growing then.

To delete the data that exists, open health -> sources (at the bottom) -> select the device(s) listed -> "Delete All Data from" <<Device Name>>.
I have a pretty good privacy regimen with my phones. The first thing I do when I get a new iPhone is go to the Privacy section and turn off Location Services, then I go through all of iCloud and Photo settings to make sure nothing is being shared. I turn off Siri - everything related to it - and make sure FaceTime is disabled. While I don't specifically recall going to the Motion & Fitness control, I must have because it was off.

I did as you said regarding "Delete All Data". I saw the Watch was in there as well as my phone, so I deleted both. Then I went to General>iPhone Storage>Health and saw the data was at 1.8MB. If these were just bits related to document templates or empty files I could see a few kilobytes being held but not 1.8MB. That to me seems to be significant data.

Additionally, I saw that Activity now has an entry under iPhone Storage, and its at 1.2MB. Prior to iOS12 there was no entry because I was able to delete the app from my phone. I tried "Delete App", and when I do that the "Reinstall app" option above changes to "Offload App".

Interesting.... while I was contemplating this post I was also hammering away at various things in the settings and I found that by repeatedly hitting "Delete All Data" under my Watch, I was actually able to delete the Watch from the Health Sources. Unfortunately, that didn't delete any of the 1.8MB of data thats sitting there.

Thank you for your advice so far.
[doublepost=1537618146][/doublepost]
I thought the activity app didn’t show up unless you have an Apple watch paired with the phone.
I don't know whether thats true or not. I seem to remember finding Activity in my phone before I got my Watch. In any case, I don't have Activity set up on my Watch. In fact, I just clicked on the Activity app on my iPhone X (first time I've done so, just to see what it did) and it gave me a splash screen that spoke about how awesome Activity will be once I set it up on my Watch.

If I have a spare hour later I'll try unpairing the Watch and see if I can delete this stuff. I remember pairing took a lot of time, so I'm not looking forward to that.
[doublepost=1537621416][/doublepost]Update:

I picked up my previous iPhone, a 6S, which was my main phone when I first got my Watch. I noticed that it had 2MB of Health data stored. I confirmed the Motion & Fitness spyware was turned off, then I went into the Health app. It had never been clicked on, as I mentioned before. I went through the setup steps, clicking past all of the "Make sure you give us your information" stuff, and made it to the Devices section. My Watch was listed twice, as was the 6S, but very odd : my iPhone X was listed!

I unpaired the Watch - got an error while doing it. I can't remember what it was, precisely, but it said that the unpairing was not completely successful.

I was able to delete everything but the 6S as a device, unlike my iPhone X, which let me delete every device. I went back to the iPhone Storage monitor, and saw that Health had grown to 2.2MB.

If I had any modern programming skill at all, I'd come up with an app that would scour the Health data from the Watch and the iPhone.
 
Last edited:

ericg301

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,351
795
weird that you've paid good money for an apple watch and want nothing to with its best feature -- activity tracking.

you seem to be really hung up on MBs of data...tiny amounts that are insignificant.

sounds like you'd be better off with a dumb phone, perhaps?
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
708
487
weird that you've paid good money for an apple watch and want nothing to with its best feature -- activity tracking.

you seem to be really hung up on MBs of data...tiny amounts that are insignificant.

sounds like you'd be better off with a dumb phone, perhaps?
Even weirder is that you’d post up a snide comment like that in response to someone with a genuine question about data use.

Maybe Activity is the “best feature” for you, but not for me. I’m far too active to need a watch to tell me to sit, stand and rollover, as well as play dead to privacy concerns. Instead I really like notifications on my wrist like seeing a text or the name of whomever calls me. I like having the ability to talk over the watch instead of holding the phone, carrying a multitude of boarding passes in this tiny little device, glancing at the weather, and having extremely flexible alarms and timers.
Plus it’s a great looking watch.

By the way, I didn’t pay for this watch. When the Watch was introduced I thought it was ridiculous that Apple was getting into wearables while their computers were falling behind the rest of the market. I resolved that the only way I’d have one would be if it was free. I picked this one up as part of a trade deal, so it was effectively of no cost to me.

After several years with this one I’ve grown extremely attached to it. I’ll be paying for a Series 4, and most likely giving this one to someone who wants to try one.
 
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