What it is: Apple introduced a new file system for storing and organizing data.
From a user’s point of view, there’s little to get excited about Apple’s new file system dubbed APFS. You’ll still be able to copy, rename, move, and delete files and folders just like before.
The real advantage of APFS lies in its technical details. Today’s current file system is called HFS+, which was designed back in the days of Macintosh in 1998. Back then, most people stored small amounts of data on hard disks and floppy disks.
Fast forward to today and people are now storing large amounts of data on solid-state drives in smartphones, tablets, and even in some Macintosh computers. Just as you wouldn’t expect a 1998 car to have the same safety, entertainment, and performance features as today’s cars, so you can’t expect a 1998 file system to be optimized for today’s devices.
So Apple created APFS to work more efficiently with today’s devices such as solid-state drives. From a user’s point of view, this will translate into faster performance, less chance of data corruption or loss, and encryption. Where HFS+ was designed in an earlier era where encryption was an afterthought, APFS is designed for encryption from the start. That means APFS will likely keep your data far more secure than HFS+ could ever do.
Although APFS might not be a splashy feature that will attract new customers, it will simply make using all types of Apple devices faster and more secure. You won’t notice the difference between an APFS and an HFS+ device other than speed, but APFS is designed for today and tomorrow while HFS+ was designed for the past.
If you want faster performance and greater security, you’ll want a device running APFS. HFS+ served well, but it’s time for a new file system to take over without forcing everyone to relearn everything, and APFS is the answer.