iOS – Apple's Revolutionary Mobile Operating System
iOS is Apple's operating system for its mobile technology, a derivation or mobile version of the OS X operating system on Apple's computers. According to Apple, iOS, formerly known as iPhone OS, was unveiled in 2007 for exclusive use on the iPhone. Later in that same year, the operating system was extended to support the iPod Touch. In 2010, the iPad was released with iOS pre-installed. Now, iOS is also available on the iPad Mini and Apple TV. Unlike Microsoft Windows and Google Android, iOS is not licensed for use on non-Apple hardware.
Apple's App Store contains over 900,000 iOS applications. With a collective download count of more than 50 billion, it is the most popular app store of any mobile device on the market today. Apple's iOS is so popular and widespread that it has a 21% share of the mobile market operating systems in the world. The only operating system more popular than Apple's iOS is Google's Android. Although iOS is not the most popular mobile operating system available, it is the operating system which accounts for the largest mobile web data consumption - an impressive 65%. As of 2012, there are more than 410 million devices with iOS installed on them.
iOS's user interface is touch-controlled. It is based on the direct manipulation concept, where multi-touch gestures are used. The user interface elements consist of switches, sliders, and buttons. Gestures that control the OS include tap, swipe, pinch, and reverse pinch. In addition, internal accelerometers controlled by the iOS are used to respond to shaking the device or rotating the device in three dimensions.
Every year, Apple releases a new version of iOS. The current version is iOS 7, and it was released in September of 2013. Features of iOS 7 include applications for photos, music, Siri (a program that lets users use their voices to send messages, search the web, etc.), Maps, FaceTime (video and audio call capabilities without using the mobile network), Safari (iOS's browser), AirDrop (a data-sharing application), Game Center, and AirPlay (a program to wirelessly stream from the phone to a television via Apple TV). iOS 7 also boasts features like multitasking, where the operating system learns when users use apps the most and updates them at power-efficient times. Moreover, iOS 7 includes iCloud, a place to store music, photos, apps, contacts, calendars, mail, documents, and others without storing them on your phone.