i have ridden the mighty moon worm

.. or done something else equally impressive: I removed the Stocks, YouTube, and Notes default iPhone apps from my phone.

I still don’t know if I actually broke something or if Bad Things are going to happen to my phone soon, but I’ve been through my installed app list a dozen times and nope – those icons aren’t there. People have been asking me all night on Twitter how I did it, so I thought I’d share even if I don’t think the “fix” is going to appeal to everyone.

Basically, I’m an app whore – there are 288 apps on my computer and 180 installed on my phone (this includes the native apps like Settings, Mail, Safari, etc). I’m also extremely anal retentive – I keep everything organized using special Kimli Logic, which I don’t recommend you try at home. In addition to the 4 applications on the toolbar (my phone isn’t jailbroken), I have 11 full pages of things; the maximum you can have in side-scrolling content goodness. You can certainly install more than 11 pages worth of stuff, but the items past page 11 will only be accessible via the Search function on page 0 of your phone (1 screen to the left of your home page).

Prior to my amazing and totally intentional discovery, I had to settle for moving my unwanted icons to the last page and never looking at them. I installed a dozen new things over last night and today, and was shuffling things around when I thought “hey, why can’t I move these stupid things to page 12 and have them vanish?!” .. so I did.

Here’s the catch, though – if you have less than 11 FULL pages of icons, iTunes will simply move the native app icons to any available hole on a page. So, the solution is to obviously install EVERY SINGLE APP and force that Stocks icon right into oblivion (I told you this wouldn’t appeal to everyone). Easy as pie, right?

This fix didn’t work for everything. For some reason, iTunes insisted that Voice Memo live on page 1 no matter what until I allowed it to live on page 11, not 12. I finally wrestled it into submission by removing everything except the three unwanted items onto the invisible page, at which point it dropped off my iTunes like an umbilical cord – I can’t actually SEE page 12 on my device profile page anymore. I’m scared to try and add another app to force page 12 to reappear, because I kind of enjoy not having the stupid YouTube icon mocking me with it’s party-killing buzz.

Another weird? If I go to page 0 and search for “Stocks”, it appears in the list. Again, I’m too scared to try and open the tool – what if it makes them all come back? No, I’d rather live like an ostrich. I don’t want those things back on my phone. If I can’t see them, they aren’t there.

I found a couple more awesome things to share, but since they’re games, I’ll write about them over on Gamers with Casts soon (ie: after my birthday weekend). Stay tuned, and let me know if you try this bizarre “fix” – I’m curious to know if I am somehow special/haunted, or if it really is a valid way to remove native applications.

Of course, when iOS4 comes out next week, this will all be moot. Thanks a lot, Apple. Way to make my efforts meaningless.

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