How does Files app work?

Discussion in 'iOS 11' started by iop, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. iop macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    I haven't been able to find much information on the subject. It is said that this app is similar to the documents folder on your computer, but is it actually so? Is it possible to open files (for example djvu and pdf) from this app without copying them into the target application? And if so, is it possible to set preferred apps for different file types? Are there any limitations?
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Diffenetly not like finder on Mac. But an improvement.
  3. iop thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    This guy says it's pretty much the same icloud app + a few minor features. .

    Damn, I really wanted to believe Apple finally came up with a shared file system. : (
  4. Dj64Mk7 macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2013
    In theory, since the iPad and iPhone use APFSVlike the Mac, wouldn’t it be possible for Apple to create a Finder-like app for iOS, just without access to system level files?
  5. iop thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    That's what I've been hoping for — a sort of "finder" sans access to anything but the user documents folder. I have a collection of ebooks in various formats, and I'd love to have them all organized in folders (like on my laptop) and be able to open them in various apps without importing. I initially thought this was what the new files app would do. I guess there's still some hope since it's only beta 1.
  6. Feenician macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2016
    The underlying filesystem is pretty irrelevant* on the iPhone. Not much changed in the APIs between HFS and APFS and most apps never even noticed. In other words, no, APFS has no bearing, good or bad, on having a Finder for iOS.

    *Of course there were underlying advantages to APFS but nothing apps can use.
  7. Mayanja macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2017
    Actually, iOS 10 already supports opening files from iCloud Drive without copying them, but the target app must support it too. iWork supports it, and MindNode as well. Office sadly not.

    I kind of hope that this will change in iOS11 and that more apps fill support this as the Files App becomes popular. Right now Files looks like an updated iCloud Drive app, but there's a lot of new technology that will make it less so, but this will likely be visible once the final version is out. For example, the current pop-ups for other services like Box and Google Drive will be replaced by true folder integration, the same way how iCloud Drive already works in Files. Apple developed a new API for it, but we can't see that yet until the final version is out.
  8. Feenician macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2016
    As the poster right above me said it’s been possible to open files without copying them for all of iOS 10’s life. It’s also possible to set default app for opening downloads.

    Head over to this page

    And download the small zip file. In iOS 11 it will download and say “open in <whatever app is your current default>” and “More...”. If you choose “More” and choose another app the next time you download a zip file that will be the default app. The feature is already there in iOS 10 in fact, though the UI is slightly different. Now, most apps don’t even present an Open In like Safari does (and that is on the developer of those apps) but for those you arrange your share sheet appropriately.

    Finally, as @Mayanja above points out quite how this inter-app communication will feel in practice won’t really be known til iOS 11 is out and developers can actually release against it. Here’s what we do know: -

    - 3rd party file providers will look and feel native in Files, just like the iCloud part looks and feels today.
    - 3rd parties may provide access to any files they wish. That means cloud services and providing access to things like Windows share, NAS drives etc.
    - The sandbox will be allowed to be penetrated by user consent. Craig Federighi was explicit about this. Apps can see other apps content by virtue of the user consenting to it by explicitly tapping on something. What does this mean? It means the sandbox is as secure as ever. Facebook can’t just arbitrarily look at all your files but if you say “open file” in Facebook then the Files app will allow you to explictly, by navigating to the appropriate place, see the content of another app and read and manipulate it. Facebook is just an example in this case (Don’t install facebook. It’s terrible ;))
  9. stooovie, Jul 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017

    stooovie macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2010
    You don't have to physically copy files with APFS. You can make new clones instantly across sandboxes, retaining the security. So yes, file system is very relevant.

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