With iOS 10.3 now publicly available, many iPhone and iPad owners have been questioning whether or not the move across from iOS 10.2.1 to iOS 10.3 is taking longer than a usual update would.
The answer to this is quite simply, yes. iOS 10.3 ships with a number of internal improvements and outward-facing changes, but it’s the behind-the-scenes move away from the traditional HFS+ file system towards APSS which understandably prolongs the time it takes to install.
Apple’s iOS 10.3 went through a long enough period of beta testing for almost every device owner to know what it was going to offer when it shipped. Updates to the Find My iPhone experience. An improved and more powerful Siri experience. As well as a number of vital security fixes and patches may appeal to end-users, but probably not so much to those who spend their days looking for vulnerabilities which can be leveraged from a jailbreak perspective.
Those outward-facing improvements aside, it’s the move away from the accepted 30-year-old HFS+ file system to Apple’s new Apple File System (APFS) which is causing the install delays.
Going ahead with that upgrade essentially means that the installer needs to do all of the heavy lifting involved in migrating data to different places on the file system. And of course, ensuring the integrity of that data and making sure that nothing is purged, lost, or made corrupt during the major internal reshuffle. Given the age of HFS+, and the agreement that it needed replaced, it seems like the slightly extended install time is worth the effort. Especially considering the majority of users are noticing that iOS 10.3 feels a lot more fluid, snapper, and faster when interacting with content and navigating between views because of this new file system.
But that’s not it. Former iOS engineer Renaud Lienhart has used Twitter to give another reason for iOS 10.3 feeling speedier than older versions, suggesting that “iOS 10.3 feels snappier because many animations were slightly tweaked & shortened, for the better.” It’s unlikely that Apple will ever officially comment on those tweaks, but it could have something to do with a range of issues reported by Chris Pirillo after an investigation into interface and experience issues caused by animations not executing and performing as intended.
If you’re still deliberating on whether or not to upgrade to iOS 10.3, the extended install time is definitely worth the benefits that you get from it. Unless you’re wanting a jailbreak, of course.
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