A Quick Look Back on Apple’s Mobile Operating System: iOS

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The credit for iOS goes to Steve Jobs.  In 2005 he started planning for iPhone and while doing so, he had a choice of either shrinking the Mac or enlarging the iPod. Steve was in favor of the former approach. He involved the Macintosh and the iPod teams in an healthy internal competition against each other that was won by Macintosh which was led by Forstall who succeeded in creating the iPhone OS. This enabled the iPhone to be a huge success as a platform for the third-party developers. Later on Forstall was also credited for creating a kit (software developer’s) for the programmers to build applications for iPhone and also an App Store. The operating system was unveiled alongside iPhone at the Macworld Conference & Expo on January 9, 2007, and subsequently released in June of that year.

Technical Details

iOS is basically a mobile operating system designed, developed and distributed by Apple Inc. The major point which separates iOS from other operating systems is that unlike Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Google’s Android, iOS is not licensed by Apple for installation on other non-Apple hardware. Originally it was launched for the iPhone but now the operating system has been extended to support other Apple devices as well such as the iPod Touch , iPad  and second-generation Apple TV also. According to the latest stats till January 2015 there were more than 1.4 million applications for iOS on Apple’s App Store. These apps have been downloaded collectively for more than 100 billion times. Apple releases major versions of its iOS annually. The current release is the iOS 9.2, which was released on December 8, 2015. The current version of iOS (iOS 9), consumes around 1.3 GB of the device’s flash memory for the operating system itself. Apple provides its users with major updates to the operating system approximately once a year. The latest version launched by Apple is iOS 9, which is available for the all the apple devices in the market right now i.e. iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPad, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S & iPhone 6S Plus also.

Apple has based the user interface of iOS on the basic concept of direct manipulation by making use of multi-touch gestures. The elements of interface control consists of sliders, switches and buttons. The user can interact with the OS with gestures including swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch each having a specific definition in context with the multi-touch interface of iOS operating system. Some applications use internal accelerometers in order to respond to shaking of the device (one common feature making use of this hardware is the undo command) or rotating the display of the device in three dimensions (while the user switches from portrait to landscape mode).

iOS has been really liked and have got great reception from the consumers which can be inferred from the following stats: By the first quarter of 2012 iOS had 23% share in the operating system units in smartphones sold second to Google’s Android only. It accounted for 65% of mobile web data consumption according to the stats revealed in 2014. By mid-2012, 410 million devices were activated.

Final Verdict

As of now, Apple has overtaken all the companies in competition with itself in terms of revenue and market share and this success can be attributed to iOS only. We know, how much Android is really trying to come up with an update to match the ever expanding fame of iOS.