[FEATURE] OS War – History Part 3: iOS

Are you a die-hard Android fan? Or maybe iOS or WindowsPhone fan? Or do you still trust the good ole Blackberry OS? Regardless of what phone you have, every operating system (OS) has its pros and cons.  The OS war has been going on for a long time (Windows vs. iOS vs. Linux) and has only recently come to the mobile phone front.  What most people don’t know is something that I find to be very important: the history.  To keep up with the current times, a company must adapt and grow to maintain its life.  Same goes for the different operating systems.  If you want to see the future of the different OS’s, you have to see the growth in the past.

This article is Part III of a multi-part series and will be focusing on iOS. For those who want to read about Android’s History and updates,click here! For those who want to read about Windows Phone OS history andupdates, click here!


It’s nearly impossible for someone to say that their lives haven’t been touched by iOS. You either have an iOS device, someone you know has one, or you want one.  Since the late Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPhone, Apple products have been flying off the shelves.  Every Apple Event is bound to be a huge event. Every iPhone release causes massive lines for days outside of stores.  As New Years has passed, everyone is looking to see what Apple has in store for us this coming year. But why don’t we take a step back and look at the history of iOS first.
iOS was originally made for only the iPhone, but can now be found in other Apple devices like the iPod Touch, iPad or the Apple TV, according to Apple’s website. Apple’s App Store contains more than 500,000 apps, of which, at least 1 billion apps are downloaded per month.  What some people may not know is that iOS is in fact derived from the Mac OS X platform, which is taken from the Unix OS.  The iPhone OS currently has a 28.3% of the smartphone market share in the US according to a study done by Neilson. This ranks second, after Android, but before the Blackberry OS.

Thistimeline includes most of the major updates; there are some updates that arenot included in the list.
iOS 1
June 29, 2007: iOS was born. Apple officially released the first version of iOS along with theiPhone. Although Apple was behind in the OS competition, they decided to compete with others by focusing on user experience, and it showed. iOS was more user-friendly than any other OS and the iPhone quickly gained traction towards becoming the bestsmartphone on the market. The iPhone was only released on AT&T in the US originally.
Original iPhone
Features included:
– iOS User interface
– Capacitive Touch Screen
– Pinch-to-Zoom
– Inertial scrolling
– Mobile Safari web browser
– Intergrated iPod
– Google Maps
 Visual Voicemail
 iTunes Sync
 Usable touch Keyboard
iOS 1 updates
New Features included:
 iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
 Ipod Touch compatibility
 Better GPS Location
 Re-arrange icons
 Multitouch Keyboard
 Website Shortcuts or “Web Clips”
iOS 2
iOS 2 was released in July 2008. The App Storewas born.  iOS 2 was released with the iPhone3G and 2nd Generation iPod Touch.  Thisversion was also available as an upgrade on the original iPhone and iPod Touch.
iPhone vs iPhone 3G
New Features included:
 App Store and its integration with iTunes
 iOS Software development kit (alloweddevelopers to create applications)
 3rd-party apps
 Microsoft Exchange support
 Contact Search
 3G Signal
iOS 2 Updates
New Features included:
 Battery Life Fix
 Speed Fix
 iTunes Genius
 Google Street View
 Podcast downloads
iOS 3
iOS 3 was introduced in June 2009.  There was no huge fanfare, however, Appletried to fix and add functionality that was either missing or to repair functions that people hadproblems with.  iOS 3 was released for theiPhone 3GS, but could be upgraded on any iOS 2 device as well.
Home Screen
New Features included:
 Cut, Copy and Paste
 Voice Control
 Spotlight search
 Push Notifications
 USB & Bluetooth tethering
 Landscape Keyboard
 Find my iPhone
 Camera with Tap-to-Focus
 Purchase Videos and Books from iTunes
 Parental Controls
 Compass App (only iPhone 3GS)
 Autofill forms in Safari
iOS 3 Updates (up to 3.1.3)
Was the final update for the original iPhoneand the iPod Touch 1st Gen.
New Features included:
 Remote Lock
 Ringtone downloads
 iTunes Genius mixes
 Voice Control over Bluetooth
iOS 3.2
iOS for iPad was released in January2010.  iOS 3.2 was released specificallyfor the iPad, mainly created to support the larger screen size.
New Features included:
 Support for bigger screen
 Landscape and Portrait Views for Apps
 Location-based Apple data
 Bluetooth Keyboard support
iOS 4
Multitasking was key in the release of iOS 4.0which was released in June 2010.  iOS 4 wasreleased for the iPhone 4 and iPod 3rd Gen, though this was alsomade available to be upgraded on the iPhone and the iPod Touch (withexception of the first generation of the iPhone and iPod Touch) but not the iPad. However, thiswas not really multitasking because you were not able to run more than one appat a time. Instead, one could switch from app to app, by pulling up the app froma saved, but frozen, state.

The iPhone 4 was plagued with antenna issues, which prompted numerous dropped calls. Apparently iOS 4 also had an issue with not properly displaying signalstrength as well as often showing the phone having signal, when it wasn’t receivinga good signal at all.  This was fixed inthe updates.  Verizon finally received theiPhone in February of 2011.

New Features included:
 FaceTime (video chatting within iOS users)
 Unified email
 Threaded email messages
 Retina Display support (higher qualitydisplay)
 iAd support
iOS 4 updates
Last updates for the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch2nd gen
New Features include:
 Signal issues fixed
 Game Center
 TV Rentals
 iTunes Ping
 iPad integration (released on Nov 2010 on iOS4.2.1)
 Verizon Support (released on February 2011 iOS4.2.5)
 Personal hotspot
 iOS 5
Apple’s latest version of the iOS was releasedin June 2011. As the iPhone 3G was to the iPhone 3GS, or iOS 2 was to iOS 3; iOS 5 was a compilation of fixes for iOS 4, with one majorimprovement and numerous other “smaller” improvements, i.e. Siri.  This version was released with the iPhone 4S. Siri was made only available tothe iPhone 4S, and took over Voice Control on the previous iOS devices.  Siri can answer questions, comment, andrespond back to any voice command. However with any voice-registering device, there are problemsrecognizing your voice and it may misinterpret what you are saying.

New Features include:
 Notification Center (similar to Android)
 iTunes Wi-Fi Sync
 iMessage (similar to BBM)
 Over-the-air updates
 Twitter integration
Future of iOS
Not sure if you have noticed the trends butalmost all iPhones and new iOS’s were announced once a year  — around June/July. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple followed this trend again thisyear.  The first iPad was released April2010, and the second March 2011, meaning iPad 3 may be coming soon aswell.  Not much is known about Apple’supdates since they keep their secrets, well, pretty secret, with the exception of the “found”iPhone 4 fiasco. Apple products are always highly anticipated and highly sought-after. No doubt that any future Apple devices will follow suit.
What do you think of iOS devices? Do you haveone? What do you like and what do you think needs to be improved?
A Special thanks to The VergeDieter Bohn — Thank you!
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