After many years and at least one false start, Apple announced at WWDC last year that it would begin shipping a new, modern file system in 2017. Dubbed APFS (for Apple File System), it is designed to improve support for solid-state storage and encryption and to safeguard data integrity. When released, it will finally replace the nearly two-decade-old HFS+ filesystem that Apple has been tacking new features onto since 1998.
An early version of APFS was included in macOS Sierra as a beta for developers to experiment with, but it was intentionally limited in some important ways; it couldn’t be used as a boot drive, it didn’t support Fusion Drives, and you can’t back up APFS volumes with Time Machine. 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: 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: [Read more…]