Life Tech Caution urged ahead of Apple’s ‘next-generation’ iOS update

Caution urged ahead of Apple’s ‘next-generation’ iOS update

Apple's latest smartphones are trailing others in download speeds Photo: Getty
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Apple’s upcoming iOS update promises to introduce a “next-generation” change to the iPhone’s operating system, but IT experts warn there could be a few good reasons for users to hold off.

The iOS 10.3 upgrade at the end of March will deliver a host of changes for iPhone users, including Find My AirPod support and an unprecedented move to a new file system.

But according to experts, such a significant update has the potential to cause the loss of personal data if your device is not backed up correctly.

“If there’s some kind of flaw or bug and the system stalls during an interaction you could lose that data,” RMIT University IT lecturer John Lenarcic told The New Daily.

“It’s something so doable with phones – it’s easy to back up – people should take advantage of Apple Cloud or anything else. It’s not worth the risk.”

Since its inception, iOS has used Apple’s Hierarchical File System. Now, after 30 years, the iconic software will be replaced with the new Apple File System (APFS).

The APFS – designed to scale from an Apple Watch to a Mac Pro – is optimised for Flash/SSD storage and is engineered with encryption as a primary feature, Apple says.

However, while your iOS update will automatically convert to the new format, the two systems are not compatible.

And according to mobile phone developer and Swarm Systems director Dr Christine Satchell, the “paradigm shift” for Apple could still have major bugs.

“Any time a new system is brought into play, no matter how diligent and no matter how much testing has gone into it, there are always bound to be bugs,” Dr Satchell said.

Mr Lenarcic suggested iPhone users hold off for “a couple of months” before upgrading to avoid any potential harmful bugs.

“The early adopters often become the guinea pigs. I think it’s a good idea to wait especially if it’s dealing with any operating system upgrade,” he said.

“If you have an existing device and want to update, they should hold off, not for a long time, maybe a couple of months.”

Lost an AirPod? Apple’s update will help

iOS 10.3
Apple now has an app to find your lost AirPods. Photo: AAP

As Apple continues to guide its users away from wired headphones, the upcoming software update also includes Find My AirPods support for the proprietary cordless in-ear buds.

The change will use Apple’s Find My iPhone app to help hunt down the lost AirPod/s, as long as you’re within Bluetooth range.

If lost, the AirPods will start making a triplicate chirp steadily increasing in volume, while you can mute the left or right earbud for a more focused search.

If unsuccessful in your search, you can always buy a new AirPod for $US69 ($A91) each as part of its service pricing policy.

iOS 10.3 update changes

  • Find My AirPods added to Find My iPhone app
  • Siri support for cricket scores from Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council
  • Safari support for Reduced Motion preference
  • Prominent user security section in Settings app
  • New Apple File System (APFS)
  • Podcasts app has a widget like Music app, same app design
  • New system level way for developers to request app rating, opt out option in Settings
  • CarPlay status bar has persistent quick access to media, communication, and travel apps for quick switching without accessing the Home screen
  • CarPlay gains quick access to albums from songs in Music, new Up Next screen
  • Weather data in Maps app now has 3D Touch forecast

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