We’re less than 12 hours away from Apple’s WWDC keynote address and little by little, details regarding Apple’s plans are starting to emerge. This evening, a new placeholder listing has gone live on the App Store for a ‘Files’ application from Apple, hinting that the company might bring an expanded filesystem of sorts to iOS 11…
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The details about this app are sparse at this point, with the app description simply reading “Files app for iOS,” while screenshots are nowhere to be found. The developer of the app is listed as “Apple Inc.” and it requires iOS 11+.
The App Store listing for Files was first discovered by developer Steven Troughton-Smith on Twitter, who also notes that the app only supports 64-bit devices. This further suggests that Apple will drop support for 32-bit applications with iOS 11 this year, as hinted at by the lack of 32-bit apps in App Store search results.
The Files app will likely come pre-installed with iOS 11 and the App Store listing is likely for those users who choose to delete the app, a feature first introduced with iOS 10. Furthermore, an App Store listing has emerged for the Activity app, which suggests users will be able to delete it with iOS 11, something that is currently not possible.
Improved file management has been a common request among iOS users, especially with the iPad Pro. In fact, a concept emerged last month showing the possibility of Finder coming to iOS, and at first glance it appears that’s what Files aims to offer. It’s likely that Files isn’t quite as powerful as Finder and will almost certainly act as a way for users to easily store and manage their personal documents, but not access everything stored within iOS.
Apple’s approach to file management on iOS has wavered over the years. The company originally argued that iOS didn’t need a filesystem, it has since had a scattered change of opinion, bringing things like iCloud Drive to iOS, but still not offering users full control over their files.
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