One thing is for sure when it comes to mobile OS, Apple’s iOS is the pinnacle of mobile operating systems. Its ease of use, accessibility options, and its sleek design has always been something that other companies strive to perfect in their own iterations. Over the years iOS has evolved into a great and powerful mobile operating system. Let us go back to the first every OS and take note of the biggest features that came with the releases.
iOS 1.0 – Welcome to iPhone
With the introduction of iOS 1, or iPhone OS 1, it was all about its UI. The OS was the core of the iPhone back then, and it made complete use of its 3.5-inch touchscreen display. It was fast, had great features like Google Maps, and it encompassed everything we loved from the iconic iPod Touch into a mobile device. Sure it had basic features and apps, and what you got with it you had to deal with because there was no App Store, but back then we had no idea what an App Store was.
iOS 2.0 – The App Store
iOS 2 brought with it the App Store, so the ability to download new content to your iPhone was a blessing in disguise. It was the introduction to the hub that we all use today, to download new games, new photography apps, and new ways to socialize. iOS 2.0 was the game changer in the industry as developers could now finally make their own visions a reality on a device.
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iOS 3.0 – iPhone 3GS
iPhone 3GS shipped with iOS 3.0. The new OS not only brought with it support for wallpapers on the iPhone 3GS only, but you could now focus on the camera, use voice control, search using the new Spotlight search, copy and paste, and receive push notifications. The iPhone 3GS also came with the first ever compass on the device.
iOS 3.2 – Introduction of the iPad
When the iPad was revealed it needed a version of iOS that would make use of the screen and hardware, this is where iOS 3.2 came along. It supported the new higher resolutions display, new icon rows, and sidebar lists.
iOS 4.0 – iPhone 4
The first ever iPhone with a Retina Display launched and along side it, iOS 4.0. The new OS came with over 100 new features and most of these were game changers. Folders, multitasking, FaceTime, spell check, and more. It was a great new OS to accompany a brand new iPhone that also packed new features.
Although it was not al fun and games, even though Game Centre launched with iOS 4.1, as the new iPhone was plagued with, what we knew back then as “Antennagate”. This was due to the iPhone 4’s poor placement of its antennas on the side of the device that interfered with your holding of the device and causing poor signal quality. Apple fixed these issues with a few iOS updates and at the same time released Game Centre, Airplay and personal 3G hotspots.
iOS 5 – Hello Siri
iOS 5 released alongside the iPhone 4S, this was the introduction of our favourite PA, Siri. As an iPhone 4S exclusive feature, Siri was highly sough after, so much so that hackers managed to port her to older devices and, made her run off of custom built servers.
Other than that, iOS 5 also came with an improved Notifications Centre, iMessage, Wireless activation, and iTunes sync over Wi-Fi. Apple also scrapped Mobile Me and introduced iCloud.
iOS 6 – Goodbye Google Maps
With the release of iOS 6 came the release of Siri on the iPad 3rd generation. It was also the introduction of Apple Maps, Passbook, and Facebook integration. But in the end it was the buggy Apple Maps that made headlines as its functionalities and directions caused people to get lost.
iOS 7 -Welcome To The Layered World
iOS 7 was more than just a new OS, it was a complete re-design and the biggest update to hit iDevices in years. Its new look and feel brought a new elegance to devices around the world. It also introduced the Control Centre for quick access to the flash, timer, etc. Siri was also revamped, and the multitasking was finally given the boost it needed.
iOS 8 – Custom Keyboards and more
iOS 8 built on what made iOS 7 such massive hit, it improved on features like the iCloud Drive, Photos and Camera App, and it added a quick contacts feature to multitasking. The biggest feature was the ability to install 3rd party keyboard on your device. This meant that anyone who wanted to make use of the Android’s Swype, could then just install it and get it running. It also brought with it the QuickType feature that shows predicted text on the top bar of the keyboard.
iOS 9 – Smarter Siri
The latest iOS 9 update not only improved on everything we loved form iOS 9, but it also introduced a smarter Siri with deeper search functionality, Split View and Picture in Picture for iPads, and of course Apple Music.
With Apple dominating the mobile market in so many ways, iOS is sure to grow even bigger than it is today. What lies in store next year with iOS X? Who knows?