iOS 10.3’s Switch to APFS Is Kind of a Big Deal

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Apple will be introducing an all-new file management system when it releases iOS 10.3 to the public as early as this month, and it’s kind of a big deal.

Long before the iPhone was even a thought in Steve Jobs’ mind, the Cupertino-company has relied on a file management system known as Hierarchical File System (HFS+) — a standby system, which has been employed on the breadth of Macintosh and iOS devices since as far back as 1998. However, come the release of iOS 10.3, Apple will be migrating over to a brand new file management system, known as Apple File System (APFS), according to a report by Business Insider.

Optimized exclusively for Flash/SSD storage, APFS will focus heavily on the security and encryption of iOS files and app data; and APFS is much more capable of keeping up with the demands of modern-day computing.

While APFS will inherently reconfigure the way our Apple-clad devices store and process data, the changes will, for the most part, take place behind-the-scenes — and so users shouldn’t expect any noticeable difference in the way their devices function on a day-to-day basis. However, since our current version of iOS — when upgraded to 10.3 — will automatically convert all our existing files from HFS+ to the new APFS format, it is strongly recommended that users ensure their device is backed up to iCloud (better yet, to iTunes as well) before going ahead and installing the iOS 10.3 update when it touches down.

Apple will more than likely issue a statement warning customers about the transition to APFS ahead of iOS 10.3’s public debut. However, even at this point in time, it would make sense to do an iCloud or iTunes backup of your existing files — just to avoid the potential headaches that may ensue, heavens forbid, something were to go wrong during the migration process. The worst case scenario, as Business Insider points out, is that our existing iOS files — app-specific data, photos, music, etc. — could be lost forever, if something went wrong.

Most users are likely to admit that they rush headlong into downloading the latest iOS updates when they become available — smitten by the prospect of the exciting features, security, and stability improvements that they promise. However, while iOS 10.3, by numerical measures, is an intermittent update to iOS 10, APFS will change the game for users, entirely. So it’s really important to ensure you’re a few steps ahead of the game, as opposed to getting gamed, yourself, right?

The current version of iOS is v10.2.1, for those with compatible devices; so while iOS 10.3 may not seem like a huge deal, say, in comparison to iOS 11, Apple’s is nevertheless implementing these sweeping file management changes now, rather than later, to the sole benefit of users.

In addition to the introduction of APFS, iOS 10.3 will include a number of other features, including new App Store provisions, a couple new iPad-only keyboard styles, as well as a new ‘Find My AirPods’ feature for users of Cupertino’s truly wireless earbuds.

Have you backed up your iOS device to the Cloud or iTunes lately?
Let us know in the comments!

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