Apple 'Files' app for iOS 11 appears on App Store ahead of WWDC

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A placeholder listing for an as-yet-unannounced app called "Files" was spotted on the iOS App Store just hours ahead of Monday's Worldwide Developers Conference, suggesting Apple plans to grant users direct file management access in iOS 11.

Spotted by developer Steven Troughton-Smith late Sunday, a listing for Files appeared in the "Utilities" section of the App Store. The asset has since been pulled.

Apple failed to provide information alongside the app, though the title's icon is a familiar blue file folder similar to those used in macOS. Screenshots were also unavailable. The only tidbits revealed from the now removed listing were requirements regarding iOS 11 and 64-bit file structure support.

Though mere speculation, Files hints at a potential rethinking of iOS file management. More specifically, Apple could be on the verge of releasing an app that allows users to directly access iOS system and app files.

Since the launch of iPhone in 2007, Apple has gone to great lengths to obscure individual files from its portable device users, leaving data management largely to apps and services. While the method keeps iOS simple, some power users view it as a weakness.

The Files app listing is likely an App Store placeholder for an upcoming system app Apple intends to include in iOS 11. Apple introduced the ability to remove — but not completely delete — first-party apps from the home screen in iOS 10, a long-requested feature that minimizes feature bloat. The company makes those default apps available for download on the App Store so users can reinstall them at a later date, if they so choose.

Separately, Troughton-Smith also noticed a listing for the Activities app, suggesting that title will be a removable item in iOS 11.

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