iOS 10.3 Installation Slowdowns Caused By File System Conversion

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If you’ve tried to download iOS 10.3 today, you might have noticed that it’s taking a bit longer to install than you would have expected.

Not to worry, though — any speed issues with the installation are likely due to the fact that iOS 10.3 completely converts the iOS file system from the existing HFS+ to Cupertino’s new Apple File System (APFS). Initial reports by early downloaders have pegged the iOS 10.3 install time as around 20 minutes — in certain cases, for certain devices, it can be as long as 45 minutes. Other reports suggest that the more content a device has, the longer it will take to convert to APFS. No matter how long it takes, you shouldn’t attempt to halt the install process at any point, an Apple technical representative told AppleInsider.

Although the wait time may be a bit longer than you’re used to, the new Apple File System carries with it a number of advantages over its predecessor. It is optimized for Flash and SSD storage, and places stronger emphasis on security, encryption and data integrity. All in all, APFS is a much more updated file system, and it’ll be able to keep up with the progress of modern-day computing better than HFS+.

It’s recommended that users backup their device before attempting any operating system update — but particularly for iOS 10.3. We don’t know what problems might arise from the file system conversion, if any; though issues as severe as total data loss are within the realm of possibility, so it’s best to cover your bases before you attempt to install the update.
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