The latest iOS update for the iPhone family is doing something miraculous - it’s freeing up gigabytes of storage without deleting any apps or files.
Regardless of how smart your iPhone gets, there are a few basic physical limitations that can still seriously hamper your day. We often hear about battery life being and issue, but just as critical can be a lack of storage.
As the photos and videos we capture get ever more detailed and apps and games get larger and more complex, the strain on any iPhone’s fixed storage capacity is increasing.
That’s a large part of the reason why Apple has done away with the 16GB storage model for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which should mean that no new iPhone customer runs out of storage in a hurry.
However, serial selfie takers and hardcore gamers will inevitably fill up their iPhones quicker than others. That’s why it’s such good news that the latest version of Apple’s iOS - that’s the operating system that runs on your iPhone - can snag you up to 8GB of extra storage at no extra cost.
How to improve your memory
A number of well known websites found that following the recent upgrade to iOS 10.3, its 256GB iPhone 7 Plus gained additional storage up to a maximun of 7.81GB of storage. What’s more, none of its photos, apps or files were deleted in the process.
Just as interesting is the fact that the amount of reported capacity on the site’s iPhone rose 3.64 GB from 248.5 GB to 252.14 GB.
In order to ensure that you’re benefitting from this additional storage, simply head to Settings>General>Software Update on your iPhone. If you haven’t yet updated to iOS 10.3.1 (the very latest version at the time of writing), you’ll find the option of doing so here.
It should be noted here that not every iPhone user will gain 8GB of storage by upgrading to iOS 10.3 and above. The final amount is dependent on the capacity of your iPhone, so a 16GB iPhone 6S (for example) will gain significantly less storage than the aforementioned 256GB iPhone 7 Plus.
APFS for more apps
So how and why is iOS 10.3 freeing up more storage for iPhone users? It’s all to do with Apple’s switch to a new file system called APFS, which is short for Apple File System.
APFS changes how files are stored on each iPhone, and has been particularly optimised for modern flash storage. It’s said to be considerably more efficient at organising the way storage is used by iOS and installed apps.
It’s well worth checking that your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS, then. In a smartphone world where storage is a precious commodity, Apple just handed some out for free.