Apple has been using an outdated, 31-year-old file system known as the Hierarchal Files System (HFS) for its iOS and Mac devices. The HFS was developed for early Mac computers with floppy and hard drives.

It wasn’t made for the modern day mobile technology. HSF+ was a successor to the primitive HSF with some improvements over the original but still didn’t quite handle the data storage and accessing as desired of a modern device.

Millions of iOS device to upgrade to new file system
Millions of iOS device to upgrade to new file system

Now, Apple is rolling out an update for millions of its devices so that they switch to the new Apple File System (APFS). The new file system has been designed to cater to all of Apple’s devices such as iPads, iPhones, Mac laptops, Apple Watches, and Televisions.

The new update will be the iOS 10.3 and was first announced at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2016. The new file system is intended to better handle the way data is stored on Apple devices by taking advantage of the modern technologies such as flash and SSD memories.

The new file system also has built-in encryption and has support for the easier restoration of files on both Mac and iOS platforms. It is also designed to be faster than the previous systems in terms of the read and write speeds on Mac and iOS platforms. Last year at WWDC’16, Apple showed how the APFS was faster than the HFS+ and so would save time when accessing or storing files.

Many beta testers of the 10.3 update also reported observing an increase in the available memory on their devices. This is because of how APFS calculates the amount of available data space. It is believed that this shift to APFS will help Apple shift to 64-bit applications in the future with iOS 11.

However, most users won’t immediately notice the difference in speeds as the differences are small. The new update will also take longer to install as Apple wishes to go about this change rather stealthily.


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