The next big iPhone update is going to save you some serious storage space

When your iPhone gets the next major software upgrade, iOS 11, there will be plenty of new bells and whistles. It’s a lot of small changes, no doubt, but many of those small changes have major impacts.

iMessages, for instance, is getting a particularly huge change: All iMessages will be stored in iCloud from now on.

This has two major effects:

  1. iMessage archives are no longer stored locally, which frees up a ton of space on your phone. If you’re like me, you’ve got gigabytes of iMessage data going back years. With iMessages in iCloud, that space is mine to use once again!
  2. iMessages sync between your Apple devices — across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. If you send one on iPhone, it shows up on your Mac (and vice versa). The same thing goes for deleting messages.

Apple announced the move to iCloud for iMessages during its annual Worldwide Developer Conference presentation this past Monday, with Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi introducing the changes.

“With your messages in the cloud, we only need to keep your most recent messages cached on the device,” Federighi said. “That makes for smaller and faster backups.”

Indeed, that’s another benefit of the change — backing up your iPhone will take less time, and the file itself will be smaller due to the offloading of iMessage history.

Worried about your messaging history remaining safe in the cloud? Federighi capped his presentation about iMessage by pointing out that your message history will remain “end-to-end encrypted.” But we’d suggest setting up two-factor authentication anyway — just in case.

iOS 11 will be a free update for iPhones and iPads when it arrives this fall.


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