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What It Is for iPhone and iPad, Vs. Mac OS

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What Is Apple iOS?

Apple iOS is the operating system for iPhone, iPad, and other Apple mobile devices. Based on Mac OS, the operating system which runs Apple’s line of Mac desktop and laptop computers, Apple iOS is designed for easy, seamless networking among a range of Apple products.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple iOS is the proprietary operating system used on Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad.
  • iOS ranks as the second-most used mobile device operating platform in the world, behind Android.
  • iOS features an intuitive user-centered design and the ability for app developers to create apps, distributed through the Apple App Store.

Understanding Apple iOS

Apple iOS is the second-most popular mobile operating system. According to Statecounter.com, As of January 2024, Apple iOS held a 30% share of the mobile operating system market, second only to Android which held a 70% market share.

The first version of iOS was released in June 2007, when the iPhone debuted on the market. iOS, an acronym for iPhone Operating System, is a Unix-derived operating system powering all of Apple’s mobile devices. The name iOS was not officially applied to the software until 2008, when Apple released the iPhone software development kit (SDK), enabling any app makers to create applications for the platform.

The popularity of the iPhone is often attributed to the user-centric design and effectiveness of iOS. Since its inception approximately two billion iPhones have been sold, making the device the single most successful product ever released into the market.

Apple’s best selling product is the iPhone. Sales of iPhones totaled $69.7 billion in the first quarter of Apple’s 2024 fiscal year and comprised 58% of total revenue.

In order to keep your data safe, it’s a good idea to update your mobile devices with the latest operating system and version, which more often than not include security updates.

Highlights from the History of Apple iOS

Over the years, iOS has enabled many advancements which have rippled throughout the culture, impacting those who own iPhones as well as those who do not. The first version of iOS introduced the culture to the touch-screen smartphone, a significant cultural shift away from flip phones and Blackberry-style devices. The iPhone combined many functions within a single device, including a camera, internet browser, and media player alongside the phone and messaging, and the world would never be the same.

Apple finally gave iOS its name in the second version, when the company also released its SDK to developers looking to build apps for the platform. FaceTime, Apple’s video chat software, was released in iOS 4. Version 4 also introduced multitasking capabilities in iOS devices.

iOS 5 delivered Siri, a voice-enabled personal assistant, as well as iMessage as a central messaging system and the iOS Notification Center. Subsequent releases of the software added Airdrop, Touch ID, Apple Pay, and Apple Maps mapping system as well as myriad improvements on functionality and design.

Apple released its iOS version 12 on June 4, 2018, delivering improvements to Siri, FaceTime, and other key iOS features.

In 2019 with the release of iOS 13, Apple also introduced iPadOS. Built on the same foundation as iOS, iPadOS was designed for the larger screen and functions specific to the iPad.

The most recent version of Apple’s mobile operating system is iOS 17, which was released in September 2023.

What Does iOS Stand for?

The operating system for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and other Apple mobile devices is referred to as iOS. It’s an acronym for iPhone Operating System.

Which Devices Use Apple iOS?

Apple’s mobile devices use iOS. These include the iPhone, and until recently the iPad, which got its own operating system in 2019 which is based on iOS. 

What Is the Android Operating System?

The Android operating system was developed by Google to be used for touchscreen devices, such as smartphones and tablets. It is the most most popular mobile operating system.

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