IPhone OS1 To IOS 12 – History Of IOS
So as you probably already know, iOS is a mobile operating system that Apple created
for use on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Now iOS is one of the world’s most popular mobile operating systems despite only running
on Apple’s own hardware.
So back in 2007, the first version of iOS was released, but it wasn’t actually called
iOS back in those days.
In fact, Apple didn’t give the iPhone’s operating system a name until 2008, when iPhone
OS 2 was introduced.
Up until that point, Apple marketing material simply said that the iPhone runs a version
of Mac OS X, Apple’s desktop operating system.
But today, the first version of iOS is referred to as iPhone OS 1.
And the capabilities of this OS were groundbreaking at the time.
Because keep in mind, the BlackBerry was leading the smartphone market back in 2006 and its operating system was considered best in class.
Although in retrospect, it appears to be very archaic.
Now Apple recognized the shortcomings of smartphones at the time and envisioned a device that
was more capable, while also easier to use.
The device was the iPhone, and its success depended almost entirely on its operating
system, iPhone OS 1, which redefined the capabilities of a mobile device.
In fact, when the first iPhone was introduced, competitors admitted to being shocked by what
Apple was able to accomplish, and it sent them back to the drawing board.
So exactly what about iPhone OS 1 caused such a disruption?
Well it ran applications that had almost all the capabilities of its desktop counterpart
and were super easy to use thanks to the iPhone’s multitouch interface.
This hadn’t been the case with other smartphones, which had plastic keyboards and buttons that
became quite clumsy and complicated the user experience.
In fact, many of the features included in smartphones at the time weren’t even being
used by customers, since many couldn’t figure them out.
That’s why Steve Jobs included this chart during the iPhone’s introduction, which
illustrated their goal to make the iPhone the most capable and user-friendly smartphone
in the industry.
Now it’s probably more interesting to talk about what iPhone OS 1 didn’t have, rather
then what it did have.
Because basically with iPhone OS 1, you had the stock apps included on the phone, and
that was it.
But even those applications were extremely limited compared to modern versions of iOS.
For example, Messages only supported SMS texting.
That meant all you could do was send and receive text messages of up to 160 characters, no
photos, emojis, or voice recordings.
And if your message was longer than the 160 character limit, it was automatically divided
into several parts.
Perhaps one of the most significant features missing from iPhone OS 1 was the App Store.
But this hardly bothered anyone at all, because back in 2007, the iPhone was the most fully-featured
smartphone to ever exist.
So very few users were complaining about the lack of apps near the beginning of the iPhones
But eventually, the desire for third-party app development began to grow as many people
recognized the iPhone’s potential as a platform for developers.
So with the next operating system release called iPhone OS 2, Apple supplied a Software
Development Kit that allowed third-party developers to create apps for the iPhone for the first
Well technically it wasn’t the first time since jailbroken iPhones could run the third party
apps already, but obviously that effort wasn’t supported by Apple.
Now there were other small improvements that came with iPhone OS 2, like always-on push
emails, a scientific calculator, and Google Street View in Maps, but the App Store was
definitely, it’s headlining feature.
And at launch, the App Store offered over 500 apps.
Now that number may not seem impressive compared to the 2 million apps offered today, but you
can imagine it was a big step up from the original 15 stock apps included in iPhone
And users began to download so many apps, that in iPhone OS 3, the number of home screen
pages were increased from 9 to 11, which accommodated about 170 apps.
And I should mention that iPhone OS 3 was the first version to not be fully supported
on every iPhone, since the original iPhone didn’t have some of the new features offered.
And some of those were the long-awaited cut, copy, paste feature, Spotlight, Voice Memos,
and video recording on the iPhone 3GS.
But one of the most helpful and significant additions to iPhone OS 3 was MMS support in Messages.
And that meant users could finally send and receive photos, contacts, locations, voice
recordings, and video messages.
Now it was during the lifespan of iPhone OS 3 that the iPad was introduced.
And at the same time, Apple decided to rename the iPhone OS to iOS, since it was now being used
by devices other than the iPhone.
And in 2010 Apple introduced iOS 4, which brought with it some really advanced capabilities
like FaceTime video calling through WiFi, improved multitasking features, home screen
folders which held up to twelve apps each, 5x digital camera zoom, AirPlay, AirPrint,
and the ability to create personal HotSpots depending on carrier support.
So iOS 4 was a significant upgrade released alongside the iPhone 4, but there was one problem, and it had to do with the algorithm that calculated the iPhone’s signal strength.
Now this issue may sound pretty insignificant, but it threw Apple into a PR nightmare that
was dubbed Antennagate.
You see, iPhone 4 users noticed their network bars would fall dramatically when gripping
their phone in a certain way and this was thought to be a design flaw caused by the
iPhone 4’s new antenna system.
But an issue raised with iOS 4’s signal strength algorithm.
And Apple later released a software update that fixed this issue.
Now in October 2011, iOS 5 was introduced alongside the iPhone 4S.
And this update delivered one of the iPhone’s most iconic features: Siri.
And when Siri was first released, it was far and away the best digital assistant on the
market, although that hasn’t necessarily been the case in recent years.
Now other major additions in iOS 5 was an overhaul to notifications, which included
passive banner alerts, along with the notification centre.
And for the first time, software updates could be delivered to iOS 5 over the air.
Which meant you didn’t have to connect your iPhone to a computer every time an update
Other features included multi-tasking gestures for the iPad, a camera shortcut on the lock
screen, synced iMessages across devices, group messaging, and native emoji keyboard support.
This was also when the iPod app was replaced by the Music and Video apps.
Now iOS 6 came near the end of 2012, and it was infamous for replacing the native Google
Maps app with Apple’s own version called Apple Maps.
Now Apple Maps did offer some cool features like turn-by-turn directions, and Flyover
views in select locations, but it just didn’t have the same level of detailed map data that
Google Maps had.
And it showed.
When users started getting directions from Apple Maps, they found it to be very unreliable.
Location data could be inaccurate, certain cities were missing entirely, and many establishments
The release of Apple Maps became so problematic that Apple CEO Tim Cook issued an open letter
of apology saying he was “extremely sorry for the frustration” and that the company
“fell short on the commitment” of bringing world-class products to its customers.
And the internal debate over this apology became so heated that one of Apple’s long-serving
executives Scott Forstall actually left Apple during this time.
Now apart from Apple Maps, iOS 6 introduced some other well-known features that you probably
use today, including Passbook (now known as Wallet,) enhancements to Siri, shared photo
streams, FaceTime over cellular, and panorama mode.
So iOS 6 brought some important improvements to the iPhone, but its true significance wasn’t
clear until Apple released iOS 7.
Because it was at that point everyone realized iOS 6 would be the last version to retain
the iPhone’s classic, skeuomorphic interface.
Under the leadership of Jonathan Ive, iOS 7 ushered in the era of flat design.
It got rid of reflections, shadows, textures, and app interfaces that resembled real-life
This change was actually quite shocking at the time, and many users were turned off by
iOS 7’s flat, colourful design.
But Apple stuck with their decision, and the iOS interface remains flat to this day.
Now iOS 7 brought more than just a new look.
It featured AirDrop, CarPlay support, new Siri voices, parallax wallpapers, FaceTime
Audio, and iTunes Radio.
So iOS 7 was a big leap forward for the iPhone, but it needed some refinements and optimizations.
And Apple delivered exactly that in September 2014 with iOS 8.
It allowed the iPhone to integrate even more seamlessly with the Mac through features called
Hand Off and Continuity.
Which allowed tasks like writing an email to be started on one device and seamlessly
picked up on another.
This also meant you could answer phone calls and send MMS messages from your Mac.
Now one of the biggest performance optimizations included in iOS 8 was Metal.
Which allowed developers to use the iPhone’s graphics processor in a more efficient way,
improving the performance of their games and apps.
Other features like HomeKit, Apple Pay, and Hey Siri were also announced with iOS 8.
Now 2014 was a big year for machine learning, and Apple took advantage of this technology
in iOS 9, introduced in late 2015.
The main focus for this release was intelligence.
Since iOS 9 featured something called Proactive, which combined Siri and Search to provided
you with contextual information that it thinks you might need before you ask for it.
This feature was also integrated into apps like mail, where a calendar event can be automatically
created if a date is found within the email.
iOS 9 also introduced Low Power Mode, a highly requested feature, which provided the iPhone
with an extra hour of battery life after reaching 20%.
Other important features included an upper and lowercase keyboard and support for wireless
Now by this point, there was one feature that many users desperately wanted, and that was
to hide native apps.
Because most users probably didn’t use something like the Stocks app, and they preferred to
remove it from their home screen entirely.
And that feature is exactly what they got with iOS 10 in 2016.
But there were actually quite a few highly anticipated additions to iOS 10, including
raise to wake, unlocking with the home button, a multi-page control centre, and a universal
the clipboard that allowed elements to be copied on one device and pasted to another.
But despite the new control centre design in iOS 10, Apple decided to change it again
in iOS 11 just one year later.
This time it brought all the controls to one full-screen page that users could customize
to their liking.
But the big focus of iOS 11 was Augmented Reality.
Apple developed something called ARKit which allowed developers to integrate advanced AR
technology into their apps for the first time.
And when it came to the iPad, iOS 11 delivered some incredible productivity features, including
drag-and-drop, a new multitasking interface, and support for four active apps on-screen
at the same time.
Now the most recent version, iOS 12, is available for download September 17th, 2018, and not
only is it supposed to increase device performance by 70%, but iOS 12 also has some really helpful
productivity features like Screen Time.
Which gives you detailed reports of how much time you spend on your device, and what you’re
There’s also something called Siri Shortcuts, which allows users to program a series of
actions that should happen automatically at a certain time.
For example, to start their day, users can set their lights to turn on, coffeemaker to
begin brewing, and iPhone to display the News app.
But, of course, this is assuming your appliances and lights are connected through HomeKit.
Now there are a lot of other cool features like ARKit 2, Measure, and Do Not Disturb
During Bedtime, but something I’m really excited about is how well iOS 12 appears to
be running on older devices.
Several beta testers have reported their older iPhones becoming noticeably faster after updating,
and if this is true for all older iPhones, I think it’ll be one of iOS 12’s most
important features. So that is the history of iOS