Apple iOS revolution
Apple iOS revolution

Mind boggling evolution of iOS over years- a chronological overview

Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world on January 9th, 2007, and it is considered as one of the most iconic evolution in mobile industry. Over years since then, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch have literally redefined the entire world of mobile computing. That world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today. But it has not lost its beauty and marvel, rather has increased its anticipation among users worldwide consistently. The basic reason for the astonishing craze of iOS devices among people is the fact that iOS has evolved in due course of time has been the relentless improvement in applications and features. Apple has made iOS one of the most feature-rich and well-supported platforms on the market. iOS 7, the system currently powering Apple’s mobile devices in majority, offers an easy-to-understand smartphone operating system to new users, a powerful platform for app developers, and a relatively unfragmented experience across multiple devices.

Mind boggling evolution of iOS over years- a chronological overview

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about iOS is how similar the OS as it exists today is to the OS as it existed 2007, yet the number and breadth of features that Apple has baked in since then is mind boggling. Connectivity, accessibility and simplicity are the few metaphors that describes iOS and Apple has always continued to personify these basics with every upgrades and updates. They have always been about features; what does the new OS give you that?s worth upgrading for and through the years, Apple has given us killer features in every single version of iOS to make it worth the upgrade. So today we happen to take out some time to get a quick recap of the features and functionality iOS has added over past five years to come up to the outstanding iOS 8 update.

iOS 1: simplicity at core

When apple introduced its first iPhone in 2007, it was way behind its contemporary mobile OS. The iPhone didn’t support 3G, it didn’t support multitasking, it didn’t support 3rd party apps, you couldn’t copy or paste text, you couldn’t attach arbitrary files to emails, it didn’t support MMS, it didn’t support Exchange push email, it didn’t have a customizable home screen, it didn’t support tethering, it hid the filesystem from users, it didn’t support editing Office documents, it didn’t support voice dialing, and it was almost entirely locked down to hackers and developers. Instead of competing on specs, Apple focused on getting the core experience right. It focused on speed, consistency between apps, and a making a few features radically better than anything else that was available in 2007.

1. Simple UI- The iPhone introduced capacitive touch screen with new user interaction model that was simultaneously simpler and more powerful than systems that had come before it. Removing all physical buttons, Apple made touch the primary interaction model. Apple also nearly perfected pinch-to-zoom and inertial scrolling to make apps feel more natural and immediate. The speed and “directness” in iOS 1.0 was amazing then and remains amazing now.

2. Safari- One of the most powerful mobile browser was able to provide the look and feel of a real desktop browser that no other browser could back then.

3. Integrated iPOD- the best music player was integrated in iPhone, which got its fans go crazy. iTunes sync and iPod ecosystem laid the base of the next gen ecosystem of music, movies, apps and books etc.

iOS 2- Apps and iPhone 3G

iOS 2 introduced App Store, where users could easily browse and install apps. This was a huge change from how mobile apps were distributed before. Along with App Store, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support and push email were also introduced in iOS 2.

iOS 3- Push notification and ‘Cut, copy, paste’

1. Cut, copy and paste ? this made texting, emails and work easy. This upgrade was a much needed in iOS in users appreciated this add on.

2. Spotlight search- Finding content was becoming a fairly big chore on iOS, so a system-wide search option was inevitable. Spotlight allowed users to go one screen to the left of the main homescreen to get a text box that could search across contacts, emails, calendars, notes, and the iPod.

3. Push notification- push notifications on Apple’s platform were still way ahead of what the competition was offering. Push notifications were able to serve as a sort of stopgap for many of the functions normally handed by proper multitasking.

iOS 4- Multitasking, Facetime and Retina Display

1. Multitasking- the major improvement was introduction of multitasking in iPhone. The multitasking feature helped developers to make apps to consume less battery power and use less memory.

2. Facetime- iOS 4 came alongside the iPhone 4 and therefore added a feature designed to take advantage of the phone’s front-facing camera: FaceTime video chat.

3. Retina Display- Apple also added support for the iPhone 4’s Retina Display and faster processor, giving developers even more ways to create high quality apps.

iOS 5- Siri, iMessage, notification center

1. Siri- the virual assistant of iPhone has been developed over years, but it was the first time it was introduced in phone.

2. iMessage- iMessage was integrated with the built-in Messaging app on the iPhone and adds the same app to the iPod Touch and iPad. It is one of the most widely used app on iPhone till date.

3. Notification center- Like Push Notifications in iOS 3, Multitasking in iOS 4, Notification Center in iOS 5 was another great way to get alerts from apps. It made apps far more useful and much easier to use.

iOS 6- Maps, Facebook integration

1. Apple Maps- Apple stopped using Google maps and came up with its own maps. However it did not deliver to its promises.

2. Facebook integration- By now, social media had become quite a factor in our daily lives and Apple took perhaps the biggest step to integrate it further by adding Facebook integration. We can all agree that this isn?t a ground breaking feature but users loved it because they loved social media.

iOS 7- control center, air drop, Touch ID

1. Control center- The translucent overlay offers one-click access to Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Rotation lock, and sliders for volume and brightness. In addition to settings shortcuts, there are buttons for a flashlight as well as the Clock, Calculator, and Camera apps, and full music controls.

2. Air drop- AirDrop is an ad-hoc sharing system that lets you quickly share images, videos, and other files with people around you.

3. Touch ID- The feature lets you unlock your phone using a thumbprint, and also allows for password-less purchases from the App Store.

iOS 8- hand off, active notification center, family share

1. Hand off- now you can continue working on your apple devices. From iPhone, iPad and Mac, you can easily work cross operating systems in apple device.

2. Active notification- now you can reply to messages, facebook invites straight away from your lock screen and notification center.

Abhinav Chatterjee is a IT professional. He has keen interest in mobile technologies, networking and emerging technologies.