What really happens when you duplicate a file on iOS?

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ios apfs clones storage file providers
Hidden storage.
Photo: Josh Coleman/Unsplash

How much space do duplicate files take up on your iPad? In theory, they use no extra storage. Thanks to the design of the Apple File System (APFS) used on iOS and macOS, duplicating a file doesn’t actually create a copy. It just creates a reference that points to the original file on the disk.

But what about File Providers, and iCloud, and all that stuff? I decided to take a deep dive and find out if you can really make a zillion copies of a file with no penalty. The results were, to say the least, confusing.

Save 77% on the ‘Swiss Army Knife for iPhones’ [Deals]

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Gain fine-grain, intuitive control of the files on your iOS devices with this powerful iTunes alternative.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Backing up or moving data around on an iOS device should be simple. Unfortunately, iTunes has some real limits in terms of flexibility. So for easy, broad control of iOS data, third party data managers are often the best bet.

How to back up your iMessages (and why it’s essential)

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Never lose your old messages again.
Never lose your old messages again.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Why would you bother to back up your iMessages? After all, they’re all stored in iCloud these days, right? Well, yes your messages are all stored in iCloud, but they’re not backed up up there. They’re synced, which means that if you delete a message thread, it’s gone forever. The answer is to make a local backup, which requires a Mac. Which is ridiculous in 2019, but there you go.

Here’s how to back up your iMessages in case the worst happens.

Win a copy of iMazing and take control of your iOS devices [Giveaway]

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The latest version of iMazing, an iOS device manager for Mac and PC, adds iOS 10.3 compatibility and great new features
The easiest way to create local backups.
Image: DigiDNA

Backing up your devices can save you a world of pain when things go wrong. And yet, so many people still don’t back up on a regular basis. If you’re one of them, you should change that for World Backup Day 2019 on March 31.

World Backup Day encourages everyone to back up their most important data. To make it as simple and as cheap as possible for you, we’re giving away ten copies of the excellent iMazing app for Mac and PC. It’s the best way to create local backups that prevent your precious memories from getting lost.

How to save and print your iMessages and WhatsApps

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Get your freshly-printed WhatsApps here.
Get your freshly-printed WhatsApps here.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Yes, this sounds like a joke about the olde worlde CEO who has his secretary print his emails, then transcribe his dictated replies. But printing message threads can be pretty useful. Lawyers, for example, may want a printed record, or a PDF, of a message thread. And even regular humans might appreciate a well-formatted archive of their messages that can be easily searched and marked up.

You still can’t do this on your iDevice. However, thanks to the amazing iMazing Mac app, you can quickly create PDFs of your messages, and even print them. Onto paper.

Upgrading your iPhone? Get iMazing and kick iTunes to the curb [Deals]

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iMazing 2
Skip iTunes the next time you need to move data between your computer and iOS devices.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

iTunes isn’t always your best friend. When it comes to managing mobile data and backups, you can do better. Luckily, there’s a straightforward iTunes alternative — iMazing.

Our own Leander Kahney calls it “the best way to transfer to a new iPhone,” but this powerful tool can do much more than ease you into your new iPhone XS or XR. And now Cult of Mac Deals is selling iMazing 2 for a whopping 75 percent off.