APFS: New file system is Apple’s foundation for the future

“Who on Earth regards a computer’s file system as anything more than a bland office worker?” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note. “But if we dig a little deeper there’s a story to be told, one that concerns the future of Apple’s widening array of operating system versions and hardware devices.”

“APFS’ esoteric-sounding new features mean encryption will be easier to use, disk space will be better utilized, backups will be more reliable, to name but a few improvements,” Gassée writes. “Overall, iPhone and iPad (and Apple Watch and Apple TV) have become ‘future-proof’ now that they’ve shed the 30-year-old HFS+.”

“You probably didn’t even know it happened,” Gassée writes. “That’s high praise for a vital organ transplant.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What Apple has done with iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2, and tvOS 10.2 – seamlessly moving hundreds of millions of users to APFS – is a marvelous achievement!

Hopefully the macOS transisiton goes equally as well!

Apple’s iOS 10.3 delivers brand-new Apple File System – March 28, 2017
iOS 10.3’s longer than usual installation likely due to switch to new Apple File System – March 28, 2017
Apple releases iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2, and tvOS 10.2 – March 27, 2017
You must back up your iPhone and iPad before upgrading to Apple’s iOS 10.3, due soon – March 10, 2017
Apple’s iOS 10.3: A very, very important upgrade – January 25, 2017
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 was surprised to see an update notification for macOS 10.12.4 waiting for me on my IMac screen yesterday morning. I did a backup just in case and installed it.

    It took a long time with many restarts but all has gone well. I did a Get Info on the main hdd. It still said it was formatted under the old system, no mention of APFS.

    1. APFS is currently implemented in iOS 10.3+.

      You won’t see APFS on MacOS, until 10.13. The general recommendation is wait to covert to APFS in case there are some serious problems.

      iOS is simple enough and the ecosystem is controlled enough that converting the portable environment was considered low hanging fruit. It’s an excellent test befor MacOS, with little risks.

    1. It’s hard to tell how much of that was due to APFS. Before the upgrade a lot of cache was probably purged and there may be further efficiencies due to changes in iOS and default apps.

  2. With all of the (absolutely justified) complaints about Apple lately I think this is refreshing. It’s a reminder that they not only did, but sometimes still do, some really excellent things extremely well.

    It’s not enough to restore hope that they’ll fix the stuff we’ve been appalled with and complaining about, but it’s heading in that direction. Should we bother to cross our fingers yet?

  3. “Who on Earth regards a computer’s file system as anything more than a bland office worker?” File systems undergird our economy and way of life. They’re a big deal. Substitute in another area where we find excellence and trade offs interesting–sports, wine, engineering, music, etc.–and see how silly this statement looks.

  4. Apple has a habit of doing major things that no one really notices.

    Moving seamlessly from the Motorola 68K architecture to the PowerPC RISC architecture, and then to the Intel architecture comes to mind. There is no other company in the (admittedly short) history of the computer industry that has done anything like this.

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