The iPhone software or iOS is the Operating System that runs on Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple TV. It used to be called the iPhone OS at the beginning of its life because it started on the iPhone. But when several devices from Apple like the iPad tablet, and the iPod Touch started using the same operating system, it made more sense to call it iOS.
The iOS is what gives the iPhone and other iDevices their look and
feel and also their Graphical User Interface. The iPhone Operating System or iOS controls every piece of the iPhone
hardware. It is what makes the
such a unique device compared to other
The Lock Screen:
When you press the home button to turn on the
iPhone, you get the Lock Screen which has two modes. The first mode is the charging mode which shows the iPhone battery and its charging status.
This mode only appears if you are connecting your iPhone to an iPhone charger.
The other mode displays your wallpaper image which can be changed from Settings and it appears when you unplug the power from your iPhone or iPhone 5.
The iPhone lock screen doesn't have that many setting, however, with an iPhone jailbreak you can add some iPhone widgets to improve the appearance and functionality of the lock scree.
iPhone applications can be downloaded from the App Store which you can either access from your
or from your Mac
using iTunes. There are over 500,000 iPhone applications as of 2010, and over 800,000 applications in the App Store as of 2013.
home screens are the main component of the Graphical User Interface of the iPhone Software. There are 9 total adjacent home screens and they are the holder of all your iPhone icons and iPhone folders.
After you install an iPhone
application, you will see its icon on your home screen. There are also 4
docked icons at the bottom of the home screen that are always stationary. They will not move as you slide from one home screen to
The Dock is useful to hold iPhone applications that you use more frequently such as the phone application, iPhone safari, and the iPhone e-mail applications.
Of course, you can arrange your icons and move them around however you like.
You can also categorise your icons and put them inside folders. The iPhone software by default is limited to a total of 9 adjacent home screens, 16 icons and folders on each screen and 4 icons docked.
However, with an iPhone jailbreak you can use some iPhone icons hacks to increase the number and size of icons allowed by the iPhone software and customize your iPhone icons to another level.
Air Play Mirror is another great feature that was introduced in iOS 5 which allows you to mirror the whole screen of any iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad 2
and above wirelessly in real time to your
AirServer for OSX is an application that converts your Mac into an Apple TV allowing you to stream your media and contents from any iOS device such as iPhone 5 to your Mac just as if it was an Apple TV using AirPlay.
iCloud, and Photo Stream are other great services that show the unique integration between Apple products.
Minor vs. Major Software Update:
The iPhone software takes the format of 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 4.0, 4.0.1 and so on which is also
referred to as firmware software. Every now and then, Apple updates the Phone software or iOS adding more enhancements, and more features.
iOS 5 for example was a major iOS update and it added over 200 new features. One unique software addition to iOS 5 is Siri which is a personal intelligent assistant that understands your voice.
You can ask Siri questions in History, Math, Science, and can ask her to set appointments, or reminders and much more. Siri is only available on the iPhone 4S.
Another great iOS 5 feature is iCloud which allows you to backup, restore, and sync your iPhone to the cloud wirelessly. You don't have to connect to your computer and run iTunes to sync your iPhone any more.
iPhone doesn't have a physical keyboard. It uses a
virtual keyboard that displays on the screen. When you tap on any text field on your iPhone, the touch keyboard will pop up and allow you to enter texts. The iPhone keyboard can be displayed in both portrait and landscape by simply rotating your iPhone.
As you start typing your text, a dictionary that is built into the iPhone software will start correcting you and suggesting complete words.
With iOS 5 speech recognition, it is possible to speak what you want to your iPhone.
For example, if you open the iPhone Notes application, you can tap the microphone icon shown on the keyboard and start talking.
The iPhone software will recognize what you said, and will convert it to written text in any text field.
The speech recognition is an iPhone software feature available only in iOS 5 running on iPhone 4S and beyond.
iOS 10 came with huge number of features and improvements. Almost every app and every setting has changed. However, my favorite iOS 10 features are Raise to wake, Notification Center, Control Center, and the new widget page.
iOS 7 was finally released with the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. It is a major update from iOS 6, and came with some cool features and services. It requires some learning but not much, and once you are used to iOS 7, you will feel that iOS 6 is an old technology.
New features like control center, new Safari, Facetime audio, and more while some services like AirDrop, and iTunes radio are just enough to trigger anyone to upgrade to iOS 7.
iOS 7 beta was released to the developers in June 10th 2013. It is the latest major update to the iOS since the iPhone was released in 2007. It is in fact a complete redesign of the operating system. There is nothing that is not changed.
The User Interface, More Gestures, Default Apps, iPhone icons, Features, just about everything is changed. And the first iOS 7 beta release look very promising and very clean.
iOS 6 was announced in June 2012, and was officially released to the public in September 19, 2012. Then the iPhone 5 was released in September 22 pre-installed with iOS6. iOS 6 is also supported on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S. Although not every function works depending on the model.
The major iPhone software features of iOS 6 are the introduction of Apple Maps with turn by turn and Siri integration, Facebook integration, and many improvements to sharing.
iOS 5 was released in October 2011 with the introduction of the iPhone 4S. Some of the major features of iOS 5 are notification center, the introduction of Siri the intelligent assistant, also iCloud was introduced which allows you to share your media and apps with all your Apple devices. Another major feature was Photo stream which allows you to share your photos instantly with all your iDevices. AirPlay Mirroring, and wireless sync were also great features.
iOS 4 was released in June 21, 2010 with the introduction of the iPhone 4. iOS 4 came with many new features including Folders. It introduced native multitasking and the task switcher to the iPhone. It also introduced AirPlay which allows you stream video and phots over a wifi network using an Apple TV.
iOS 3 was introduced in June 17, 2009 with the introduction of the iPhone 3GS. Some of the major features were the introduction of Copy and Paste and MMS.
iOS 2 was released in July 11, 2008 with the introduction of the iPhone 3G. With this release, Apple introduced the App Store which allowed iPhone users to download and install third party iPhone applications to their devices.
This is the initial release of the iPhone software in June 29, 2007. The iPhone started development in 2004, and Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the public in January 9 2007. iOS1 was a closed system, you couldn't install applications, and was just a touch screen phone with iPod, Photos, YouTube, and full internet browsing.