Apple’s iOS 10.3: A very, very important upgrade

“Developers are currently beta testing iOS 10.3,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “While this is merely a point upgrade it seems to be a very important one – not because it lets you ask Siri for cricket scores, nor that it gives developers better control of reviews, but for Apple’s plan to move millions of customers to a brand new, modern, file system.”

“Apple has already let us know it plans to migrate all its operating systems to a new file system called Apple File System (APFS) in 2017,” Evans writes. “This replaces the veteran HFS+ file system the company has been using for years. What’s new is that Apple will port all your iOS devices to support APFS in iOS 10.3.”

“The ability to create clones almost instantly, save files far more efficiently, and create backup snapshots without devouring huge quantities of space should all be of interest to iOS users, and will definitely improve life for Mac users when APFS is introduced to them,” Evans writes. “The move also means all Apple’s platforms will share the same file system, opening up lots of opportunities for new products and services ahead.”

Read more in the full article here.

“We weren’t expecting to hear more about a final APFS rollout until this year’s WWDC, but it looks like Apple is getting ready to start the party already,” Andrew Cunningham reports for Ars Technica. “According to the beta release notes for iOS 10.3, devices that are upgraded will automatically have their HFS+ file systems converted to APFS. From the release notes: ‘When you update to iOS 10.3, your iOS device will update its file system to Apple File System (APFS). This conversion preserves existing data on your device. However, as with any software update, it is recommended that you create a backup of your device before updating.”‘

Apple’s stated end goal is to perform an in-place file system conversion for all its currently supported devices, including all Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple TVs, and Apple Watches. iOS 10.3 will provide some early information on how reliable that conversion will be.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Courage.

This is a big change that’s been a long time coming and that many users will never notice, but its importance cannot be overstated.

APFS: What Apple’s new Apple File System means to you – June 24, 2016
APFS: New Apple File System promises more speed, flexibility, reliability – June 17, 2016
The feds’ll hate this: Apple’s new APFS file system ‘engineered with encryption as a primary feature’ – June 14, 2016
Buh-bye HFS+, hello APFS (Apple File System) for macOS! – June 14, 2016
Apple can do better than Sun’s ZFS – October 26, 2009
Apple discontinues ZFS project, turns attention to own next-gen file system – October 24, 2009
Apple’s Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server’s ZFS goes MIA – June 9, 2009


  1. I don’t want Apples stock apps and don’t want their proprietary file system. Will I get to use microsofts file system? Hope so!
    I don’t want their walled garden and I don’t want their iPhone…… oh wait……

    Let the nonsensical shitstorm from bozo trolls (hired by Samsung) begin!

    1. What the hell are you even talking about??? Microsoft’s file system is “proprietary”, ZFS was proprietary which is why Apple didn’t use it. This has nothing to do with a “walled garden” that is updating a 25 year old file system to a modern architecture with improved functions. If you want to complain you should be complaining why didn’t this happen 10 years ago.
      Damn – even when you give people candy for free they complain…

    2. Sometimes you make sense, Paul, but in that post above it appears you have been drinking a bit too much. Your attempt at humor falls flat.

      APFS is an overdue Apple innovation that should have arrived 5 years ago. It is an embarrassment that Apple is just now getting ready to join the big boys with a modern file system.

        1. big boys meaning servers. They use:
          Oracle / Linux btrfs
          Microsoft ReFS
          IBM / Linux JFS
          SGI / Linux XFS


          Apple has been left in the dust on file system development while Cook chases rainbows and butterflies.

  2. Great news! Glad we are finally getting this. I was worried when Apple didn’t implement ZFS however I am a little scared. The file system is the FOUNDATION of computing and is the most central point of keeping our data safe – I pray PRAY we won’t have a Mobile Me sort of roll out here…serious stuff really don’t want a bunch of corrupted backups or failed start disks – and NO 3d party tools available to help a brother out.

  3. This is very exciting. When zfs was supported in leopard in 2007 we thought the transition would happen then, it didn’t and for good reason. Now we finally get the new file system we need, leading to better performance and a strong foundation for the next 25 years. HFS+ has given us its all, and now it’s time to move forward.

  4. “The ability to create clones almost instantly, save files far more efficiently, and create backup snapshots without devouring huge quantities of space should all be of interest to iOS users,”

    This is a dubious statement, and hard-link methods like time machine already permit this on HFS+.

    1. Time Machine is a utility to backup macOS computers only. HFS+ does not provide an ability for almost instantaneous clones, more efficient file storage, nor efficient backup snapshots for iOS devices. Plus each backup of an iOS device to your computer (Mac or PC) is also not space efficient.

  5. I don’t give a damn about what Apple does with iOS and Watch OS and TV OS and all the other bastardized forks of OS X. I want Apple to make the Mac OS the best in the world.

    Get APFS right, and get it out on the street as Mac OS 11 as soon as possible, and pre-install it in your new 2017 Mac Pro Workstation, Mac Tower, and Mac Mini computers.

    Go ahead and charge legacy Mac users $50 to buy the upgrade, since everyone knows that the jump to the new file system will be involved and you don’t want the low-tech crowd to blindly hit “update” expecting it to be easy and free.

    Could you get around to it, Timmy? Sometime before my retirement please.

  6. Well, it’s about damn time!

    I assume/hope that file management APIs will maintain transparency for existing programs and that no recompilation will be necessary. Will they still use sand-boxing for user created files in the data container? There’s an argument to not do that, although security concerns might outweigh everything else.

    A significant improvement this may be. But I’m prepared to be disappointed if the file system doesn’t begin to look and behave like a relational database.

    As always, back the hell everything up before you upgrade!

  7. I am a legacy OS X and legacy software user ( OS X 10.8.5 & OS X 10.9.5 ) and have to stay with these for a great many reasons.
    I have downloaded and installed El Capitán on an external hard drive, but NEVER use it!
    I downloaded macOS Sierra, but never installed it!
    If I have to update to a newer OS X version,on my Mac, to use both iTunes and iOS 10.3 and forward.
    Then, my large screen iPad Pro is done with anymore iOS upgrades/updates.
    It’ll be frozen at 10.1.1.
    Right now, iOS 10.2 point anything frickin’ sucks!
    I suspect iOS 10.3 to be any better.
    My whole impression of iOS 10, to date, has been one of major disappointment!
    So much so, I have made sure that my mother’s iPad Air stay at iOS 9.3.5.
    I was pretty forced to update to iOS 10 becuase many of my drawing/painting/sketching/design apps all came out with major revision/updated features sets under the initial release of iOS 10.
    She doesn’t do much with her iPad other than email, surf the web, FaceTime/Skype, store photos/images and play solo card games.
    Her iPad demands are light and I really don’t want to deal with another iOS device running the crapfest that is iOS 10.
    I was pretty much forced to upgrade to iOS 10, but that doesn’t mean I have to give in to the point update cycle.
    Frack effen’ security issues.
    I rather have an iOS that works and functions well and has usable and productive features.
    Not more emoji/messaging sticker updates and craptastic social media and text messaging integration features.
    I completely skipped iOS 8 ss I felt that whole iOS version cycle was a craptastic mess, too!
    I can easily do that again anytime with ANY new and, potentially, useless iOS upgrades/updates.
    That’s is where I am at with all of the hardware/software integration crap Apple keeps pushing!

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