iOS

It's happening: iOS is getting a real file manager this fall

It's happening: iOS is getting a real file manager this fall
This isn't an April Fools' prank, guys. We wanted it, dreamed of it, joked about it, eventually stopped caring about it... but now it's actually happening: Apple iOS is getting an official file manager!

MORE: The new Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch models are now official


Now, this doesn't mean we'll be getting access to the "file system", and that's a good thing. What we are going to get, once iOS 11 ships this fall, is a new native app, called Files, which is going to unite all the stuff we have on iCloud Drive, third-party services like Box or Dropbox, but also some stuff that we're keeping locally on the device. To be honest, Apple presented Files as an iPad app and didn't mention anything about iPhone support, but we've seen this pattern before, where the company would announce and even release an app on the iPad, and then eventually make it available on the iPhone as well. With the Files app, since it will be launching along with iOS 11 later this year, we wouldn't be at all surprised if it pops up on the iPhone as well. After all, why should it be exclusive to the iPad? With no logical answer or benefit to having Files exclusive on the iPad, it seems almost certain that we'll getting this feature on the iPhone as well.

How will it work?


Apple's Files application looks kind of similar to Finder on macOS. It lists your 'locations' in the leftmost pane, as well as any items you may have marked as favorites, and colorful tags. To the right, there's the bigger panel where you get to see and interact with your actual files and folders, complete with grid and list views, as well as different sorting methods. If you look at the locations list, you'll see it includes third-party services and iCloud Drive, but also an "On My iPad" space, where we presume you'll be able to find stuff like downloaded files or maybe even email attachments. It'll be interesting to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, once we get the chance to try Files for ourselves, later this year.

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61 Comments

1. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

After ten years of waiting, iOS finally has a files manager that android device had it since

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Why does it matter how long android has had one?

5. Nopers unregistered

Because fandroids are probably the people who type "FIRST!!!" in the comments of every single YouTube video they're early to. I was explaining this to my friend earlier, as long as it has it now then it is just more competitive with Android.

22. rick_mobile

Posts: 358; Member since: Dec 13, 2010

It matters, This is what made me sell my last iphone and buy a galaxy. The drag and drop file is so important, to me. Maybe I'll give iphones a changce again.

26. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 908; Member since: May 07, 2014

That's because Android users are the majority.. It's good to know that Apple is catching up... slowly but catching up..

8. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

It matters because it's a simple feature that user have been deprived for so long When it comes to tech, the "WHEN" matters a lot.... Android was very crappy at first, and it didn't even have pinch to zoom due to Apple's patent, and it was something that mattered a lot at the time...

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Sorry, but I could've sworn, I was talking about the file manager. Again, why does it matter how long android has had one? How has android having one affected iOS?

14. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

It hasn't. People like him are just insecure about their own preferences and feel the need to explain why their favorite is better than someone else's. Him telling everyone "Hey Android had that a long time ago" can be seen in the same light as that Ray J song about the Kardashian sex tape: sad.

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Exactly. It simply makes this version of iOS even better.

34. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1261; Member since: May 01, 2017

How come whenever somebody mentions Apple in a way you don't like, your comments come off as defensive. You call people sad, but there you are on every Apple article praising them even on Android articles. What do you personally get out of all of it? Just curious

17. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

It isn't that it was first on Android that matters, it is that iFans have used the lack of a file manager to boast about ease of use and for years claimed they didn't need one. Now they're going to act like it's the greatest invention ever.

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Ok, but you do agree, that the lack of one hasn't affected iOS in the least?

32. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

..and that is the real point. It doesn't matter who had a feature first. What matters is the fact that Apple apologist have stupidly argued about the usefulness of pretty standard features that Apple operating systems (IOS,OS-X, WatchOS) lacked, until Apple finally added those features and undercut their lame arguments. What I don't understand is what is the harm in asking that a particular feature be added to an OS, or pointing out that a feature is missing that you need? It seems that Apple apologist are so hell bent on promoting their idiotic (and childish) ideology that Apple is perfect that they miss the entire point of constructive criticism. I personally do not take Apple users seriously anymore. Anyone that buys a case with a cut out specifically to show a logo is the equivalent, in my eyes, of one of those kids that leaves the price tag on his/her baseball cap -- a straight poser. No one but you cares how much you paid for your hat, phone, or computer. And just because you are dumb enough to pay more than what it is actually worth doesn't mean that you are flushed in cash (most consumer items don't posses any tangible value)-- it actually hurts your chances of anyone believing you are a serious person or even an actual adult. Making up excuses about the object "superiority" of an OS or product that is missing basic features just makes you seem even more moronic than you actually are. We are also on to your feeble attempts to save face, when an overpriced or over-hyped product finally gets a feature that it should have had all along, by saying that the manufacturer of that product somehow made that feature better. --Just admit that it should have had it all along and save yourself from hypocrisy.

48. Leo_MC

Posts: 6938; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I don't understand Snapchat but I don't bash it's users. I don't understand advertising on Instagram, but I'm not saying that the money people spend on that are not well spent. Think about it, maybe you have a problem, understanding why iPhone's cost is justified.

60. mrochester

Posts: 953; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Or just ignore it because they don't need it...

27. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

because for things like that (simple missing features) a lot of people has turned to use alternatives instead of iOS... that is how it has affected it... And it goes both ways. It too a lot of time for Android to be smooth, and be simply to use for new users... and that cost them a lot of users as well.. anyway "hurray" for 2017 iOS users...

30. alexkim92

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

Then, what took Apple this long to include a file browser (it's not even a full one, but whatever)? Can you give me a set of reasons why Apple deliberately waited for 10 years to include one?

50. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Gotta milk the sheeple to the last drop...

41. jmonteiro829

Posts: 260; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

The reason that it is brought up is because the Apple PR execs that spoke today make it seem like they invented the "God Particle" when they host WWDC! It's maddening when they state all of these reasons why iPhone is better than Android but Android has had the features for years. This in turn makes the users of iOS beat their chests and claim superiority. To Android users this just doesn't make sense and sometimes you can only take so much before you lash out and spit some facts at them! Just an FYI I have been on iPhone 7 Plus for about 3 months. It is a great phone and does some things a lot better than Android. But I will say iOS is definitely lacking in many spots as well. What I would really like is a child spawn of both iOS and Android with the best parts of each. That is the only way that consumers would really win!

42. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

You know how fanboys work darkk, you just can't find proper logic with them.

45. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

To me it does not matter, but since you keep pressing for an answer, i would give you one. The keyword is mindset. Google treat the Android as a traditional productivity tool so a file manager is not actively discouraged. For apple, they are a minimalist and prefer to hide the nity gity from their user. In fact, Apple dislike tech savvy user, because this group has been giving them problem like jailbreaking phone, modifying their gadget and some are even good enough to do third parties repairs. Having a file manager show me that there a shift in Apple business strategy and the caving to user demand. Many are resistance to iOS as a productivity tool due to a lack of file manager. After years of trying to brainwash their user base, they finally relent and decided to provide a file manager in order to widen iOS appeal to the productivity Surface Pro potential buyers.

46. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I am not sure you are really looking for an answer or just venting anger. After preaching year over year that file manager is unnecessary but finally, cave-in does amount to something. However, i don't think Apple is doing this for Android more from another threat which is the Microsoft Surface Pro series. Read post 45 for the rest.

52. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

So it doesn't matter how long Android has it right? Hope Android users can say the same thing if they release a software feature similar to the one Apple has already been using and hope Apple fan boys don't start screaming OOOOHHH Android the copy cat :/

23. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

if it were the other way around, im sure it would matter right LOL

18. Bankz

Posts: 2515; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Really PA? It makes no sense why it should be specific to the ipad? Well, for thesame reason the split-view, slide-over and picture in picture is limited to the ipad when we all know that the iphones can run them flawlessly. When it comes to apple their method/choice doesnt need to make sense, they just do it for whatever reason is best known to them and thats really off-putting, insensitive and a shame on apples part tbh. Deliberating witholding features for no reasonable reason.

24. combatmedic870

Posts: 983; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

At last.... Its finally happening! I hated this!

37. HillaryClinton2020

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 08, 2017

butthurt fandroid as usual, you hate apple simply you cannot afford one. fullstop

38. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1261; Member since: May 01, 2017

Anyone who uses the term fandroid or sheep are idiots...

40. saveferris

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 11, 2014

You're confused, we hate skinny soy latte drinkers like yourself.

44. baldilocks

Posts: 1489; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

There are a lot of Android phones that are more expensive than an iPhone. You have to try better than that, kid.

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