Apple Files App for iOS 11 Hints at Mac-like Document Organizing for iPhone

iOS Files app may be a file management system for the iPhone and iPad

A place holder for an Apple app dubbed Files appeared temporarily on App Store ahead of this morning’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote event. The listing didn’t include any details beyond requiring iOS 11 and a 64-bit processor, but its temporary appearance could be a sign that Apple is going to give us more control over file management on our iPhones and iPads.

iOS Files app may be a file management system for the iPhone and iPad
Apple may be bringing file management to iOS 11

The app place holder was on the App Store long enough for developer Steven Troughton-Smith to find it and snap a screenshot to share on Twitter.

Without any details from Apple we have to speculate on what Files is for. Since so many people want more control over the documents saved on their iOS devices, we’re hoping that’s what Files gives us.

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote event starts at 10 AM pacific time, so we’ll likely find out exactly what Files does this morning.

The Mac Observer is on location at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose for the keynote, so be sure to follow along with our live coverage and analysis. We’ll also recap today’s announcements on TMO’s Daily Observations podcast and dive deeper on Apple Context Machine.

One thought on “Apple Files App for iOS 11 Hints at Mac-like Document Organizing for iPhone

  • First off, love your podcast… I’ve been a listener for a while, but only recently started making podcasts a two-way conversation with those I follow. As I listened to your review on the Files app in the iOS 11 coverage on my way in to work this morning, I really questioned where you were headed with the folders and organization discussion. Although I haven’t physically worked with the Files app, I think that the idea of organizing like-minded files together isn’t a viable option without massive applications updates. Right now, each application stores its files in a folder named according to the application. How those files are read and used by the application is subject to how the developer decided to build it. Some apps may present a folder tree reflecting the actual folder structure, while others may have no concept of structure at all, and display the files that exist in their folder, ignoring subfolders. That means that if I move my markdown files from my “iA Writer” folder in iCloud Drive (which seems to be what the Files app shows) to another folder, iA Writer will no longer have access to to those files, because it won’t have any knowledge of looking a level higher and then in other app folders. I honestly can’t see folder organization working properly until all the app developers implement a way to view the files starting at the root level of the data folders, rather than just within their own sandbox. And that has the potential to create a lot of file conflict issues, and possibly even data corruption if two applications are editing the same file at the same time without locks.

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