Apple Upgrades Millions of iOS Devices to New, Modern File System

Posted by Megalith 12:20 PM (CDT)

Tuesday March 28, 2017

Apple is currently rolling out iOS 10.3, and its most significant feature is under the skin: the adoption of a new file system, APFS. Apparently, the file system that iOS has been using all this time was optimized only for floppy or hard disks. In my experience, iOS usually feels smooth and slick, so I find that pretty interesting. APFS should make the OS feel even quicker.

Apple has been using its 31-year-old Hierarchical File System (HFS) for iOS devices so far. It was originally designed for Macs with floppy or hard disks, and not for modern mobile devices with solid state storage. Even its successor, HFS+, still doesn’t address the needs of these mobile devices enough. Apple’s new APFS is designed to scale across these new types of devices and take advantage of flash or SSD storage. It’s also engineered with encryption as a primary feature, and even supports features like snapshots so restoring files on a Mac or even an iOS device might get a lot easier in the future.