What you should know about the new Apple APFS file system

What you should know about the new Apple APFS file system

October 22, 2018 Off By Neil Byrd

Over the past decades, Apple has been sung the HFS+ file system. Before, it was using HFS. As technology and computers changed, there has been a dire need to update the way file system works. Notably, the older file systems were designed to work with smaller disks with smaller and fewer files. In addition, the speed of modern processors and SSDs means that the file systems have to be faster in order to keep up with the computer’s operations. Thus in 2016, Apple launched the new file system the APFS. In this article, we discuss the top 10 things you should know about the new Apple file system.

Apple File System

Apple File System (APFS) is a replacement for the HFS+ file system. It is expected that the new file system will make its way to macOS, watchOS, iOS, and tvOS. It will run on everything Apple. Currently, iOS 10.3 is the only publicly available operating system that runs on the new APFS. If you want to take advantage of APFS, then you need to upgrade your device OS.

APFS is designed to scales across all platforms

About 20 years, HFS+ was designed. It is just a relic from an era which is gone. It came in the era of Mac and has since then been tweaked to adapt in other Apple platforms including iPhone, Apple watch and TV. Within the past decade, a lot has changed. Technology has shifted from installing software from CDS to downloading them, the backups have shifted to the cloud. Thus, to avoid tweaking the software to adapt to all the devices, Apple has a launched a new file system that is designed to scale across all the Apple platforms with ease.

APFS is optimized for Flash Storage

Almost every device you purchase from Apple right now runs a flash storage. And it is worthy to note that APFS is designed to work best with flash storage. Hence, leading to faster read and write times and more reliability when it comes to data transfer and retention.

Snapshots and Clones

Two of the major features of APFS is clones and snapshots. Snapshots refer to the single point in time read-only instance of the file instance. By using clones, the new file system will be able to craft quick copies of the similar volume minus occupying additional storage.

Low Latency

During the design, the engineers focused on low latency. Therefore, activities like app launching and data delivery will be noticeably faster. It will reduce the load times, the spinner on the beach balls and iOS on your Mac device.

Free Flowing Participation

If you are a Mac user and you love using partitions, APFS will alter things up a bit. It is expected that with APFS, whenever a partition is out of space, the new file system can spontaneously claim storage space from an alternative partition which has space. This will be possible due to the fact that APFS create containers around all available partitions within your hard disk.

Improved Speed of Encryption

APFS is designed with encryption as the major primary function. Additionally, it supports both multi-key and single key encryption.

Future Proof

While the predecessor HFS+ only supported 32-bit file IDs, APFS will support up to 64-bit inode numbers. Moreover, the new file system by apple is designed to be the future-proof and works best with future updates.

With iOS10.3 you have your Storage Back.

Upgrading your device to the new file system gives you one advantage. You will have your storage back, however, it will all depend on how much storage space you have used. Some people have reported a couple of GBs back after their upgrade.

APFS in Mac is Beta

Although the iOS version is already live, the Mac version is much in beta. It will take time for Apple to find the right tweak to make APFS work just right on the Mac. Moreover, iOS has a closed file system, which is not exposed to the users, the Mac counterparts have an open and editable file system. Therefore it means that APFS can run into all other edge cases that Apple might have not thought about right now.

Should you upgrade to iOS 10.3

To access the APFS file system, you must upgrade to iOS 10.3. The update has been tested by a lot of beta testers and so far there is nothing to worry about, hence it is okay to upgrade to iOS 10.3