As expected, hot on the heels of the official release of iOS 10.2.1, Apple opened up the iOS 10.3 beta to registered paid developers today.
According to people who have already installed the new beta release, iOS 10.3 includes the new “Find My Air Pods” feature, hourly weather forecasts via 3D Touch on the Weather app icon (would be really useful today), and navigational improvements to the Mail application.
But what I found really interesting was that Apple is including the new Apple File System, APFS, early. I wasn’t expecting APFS to make an appearance on iOS until iOS 11, presumably due out later this year. APFS make it’s first appearance at WWDC 2016 in a preview mode so developers could get experience with it. The current iOS, and MacOS, file system is known as HFS+, which Wikipedia tells us debuted in 1998. Yes, your 2016 iPhone 7 is running a file system that was released 18 years ago. And designed for a Macintosh running a Motorola 68000-series processor. Ah, memories.
Regardless, I was expecting APFS to make its first, non-beta, appearance on the Mac since it is a smaller pool of users compared to the juggernaut that is the iPhone. Looks like Apple is forging ahead with APFS on iOS devices first.
No word yet as to when public beta testers will be able to get in on the 10.3 beta.