I am a new user of iPhone and seek any way of seeing all media on my iPhone in one place.

This basically includes the songs, pics, videos etc... even from social apps like whatsapp etc. On Android this can be done in the Gallery app or even using any File Manager.

Is this possible on iOS that run on iPhone 7?


Apple iOS runs each app in a sandbox, so in general, no app can see data from any other app. Enhanced security and privacy on iOS over android does come at a cost of data interchange. This design decision also enhances performance and saves battery life since every app isn’t trolling all the others for updates or plundering data it can then upload in efforts to track everything you do and store on your device.

That being said, there are several common file storage API on iOS. If every app you use did store the video/image/data in a common place, there’s no technical reason why you couldn’t have the same unified view.

In practice, you’ll need to manually curate or save off media you want on a case by case basis since most “free” apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook have business models that make sharing content against their best interest. Since consumers are the product instead of the customer of those apps, I don’t foresee huge or quick adoption of common storage on iOS anytime soon - even with iOS 11 making it far easier to use the “generic searchable file system” idiom you mention that common on computers and android os.

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  • Just to expand on the iOS 11 point: in iOS 11 apps can have a FileProvider extension which allows files/media to be viewed through the system Files app; this has to be supported and implemented by the app though. – grg Sep 10 '17 at 13:03
  • I half hope Apple pulls that feature at the last minute. A plague of folders and files with few tools to tame them loom in the distance, ready to unleash clarity on the sad state of cloud syncing and feature implementation across multiple vendors. Let’s hope this isn’t “May you live in interesting times.” for us all, @grgarside – bmike Sep 10 '17 at 13:10

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