APPLE has pushed out its latest software update, iOS 10.3, which brings a number of key under-the-bonnet improvements to your iPhone – which could have an incredibly useful benefit for those short on storage.
Apple has pushed out iOS 10.3 today.
The latest update to the mobile operating system brings a number of new user-facing features – as well one major behind-the-scenes change.
Head to Settings > General > Software Update to upgrade your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to the latest version of iOS.
One of the biggest changes is the new Find My AirPods feature in the Find My iPhone app.
This allows users to track the location of their wireless earbuds by checking the last location where the AirPods were connected to an iOS device over Bluetooth.
The updated app also lets users play a sound from one or both of the misplaced AirPods.
Elsewhere, you can now label reviews in the App Store as helpful, and app developers can now publicly respond to reviews.
Movie rentals via iTunes have also been given an overhaul, which means users are no longer forced to watch the film on the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or PC they initially rented it on.
But the biggest change in iOS 10.3 is behind the scenes.
With the latest software update, Apple will move supported hardware over to its new Apple File System (APFS), which the Cupertino-based company first announced at its World Wide Developers Conference last year. Previously, Apple was using its 31-year-old Hierarchical File System (HFS) for iOS devices.
This system was first designed for Apple Mac computers with floppy or spinning hard-drives – not mobile devices with solid state storage.
Even the successor to Hierarchical File System, dubbed HFS+, did not manage to address all the needs of modern mobil devices.
Apple’s new APFS has been designed from the ground-up to support flash and solid state storage.
It has also been engineered with encryption as a primary feature – and will support features like snapshots, which promises to make restoring your Mac or iOS device easier than before.
However there might also be an untended benefit.
According to technology blog The Verge, some beta testers trialling 10.3 before it was rolled out to everybody this week, noticed a bump in available storage space.
This is most likely due to the way that APFS calculates available data on your iOS device.
Other than a bump in storage for some iPhone users, you are unlikely to see any other benefits from the new file system powering your iPhone or iPad just yet.
Instead, the new system lays the foundation for Apple to move over to 64-bit apps only on iOS, something which many believe will happen with iOS 11 in September.