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You can launch the Files app from its icon. I recommend adding it to your Dock, because you will probably use it a lot. In addition to files on your iPhone, the Files app is compatible with Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive and other cloud-based file storage services. These services appear on the left side of the screen if they are installed.
The Files app isn’t perfect. For example, I can’t actually browse local files on my iPhone. I have apps that have local files, but the Files app can’t access them. In fact, I don’t even see the “Files on my iPhone” category on the left side of the screen. This is because Files only works with specific apps. It still isn’t as useful as Finder on macOS. I can only really access iCloud, which I could do before.
File management for iCloud has improved dramatically. Prior to iOS 11, I would completely lose the chronology of video files uploaded to iCloud on the same day, because it sorted them by date and then name. Now, when I sort by date, it sorts by date and time. The Files app also makes it easy to select multiple files. Just hold your finger down on a file and tap others to add it to the selection. You can just drag all of those files into a supporting app.
Free Up Space on your iPhone
Some contend that Apple is trying to make massive profits from selling storage space. Whether you buy a higher capacity iPhone or more iCloud space, Apple gains from power users and hoarders alike. With a new, more efficient file system, HVEC and other optimizations, Apple has actually gone to great lengths to conserve storage space. iOS 11 offers some innovative new features to help save space. They’re investing money to develop technologies that actually hurt their bottom line in the short run. This is not altruistic. They profit from brand loyalty. It’s refreshing to see a company looking at the big picture instead of just the next quarter.
iOS 11 offers a completely revamped interface for managing storage space. Tap on Settings > General > iPhone Storage to view the main screen. There’s a new feature enabling users to offload unused apps. This will preserve app data, but delete the app from your device. If you choose to re-install the app, your data will be restored.
You can also select individual apps and offload them, while preserving app data. Individual apps also offer new ways to reduce storage space. The new storage management features are essential for the iPhone user on a budget.
While you’re busy freeing up space on your iPhone, it’s a good opportunity to get rid of all those old 32 bit apps that are now incompatible. They’re just taking up space and you can always reinstall them if the developer ever creates a 64 bit version. Tap on Settings > General > About > Applications to view incompatible apps. next page →