A Brief History of iOS (to iOS 7)

For fans of the iOS, there has recently been a new release, iOS 7, which is the latest operating system for the iDevices.

Since the inception of the iOS in 2007, there has been numerous releases on the operating system. With each new release comes new upgrades and features, as well as improved functionality.


2007 – iPhone OS 1.x

  • Initially, the features were very limited. In fact in this version, there was no App Store, no multitasking features, you couldn’t copy or paste text, attach files or use 3G and MMS. Even the movement of the App icon to the home screen was possible only after 1.1.1 update.
  • However, there were other features such as the presence of a capacitive touch screen, smooth multipoint zoom scrolling and wide screen touch enabled iPods.

2008 – iPhone OS 2.x

  • This version of iOS saw the release of the App Store as well as the feature of using an ID, password for iTunes users in order to access the store.
  • Other features that were a part of this iOS were Microsoft Exchange support allowing support for pushing emails and contacts from other sources and MobileMe.
  • The app of Google Maps app too had interesting updates.

2009 – iPhone OS 3.x

  • This time iOS 3 was launched alongside the iPhone 3GS with the ability to cut, copy and paste.
  • There were other features as well such as the Sportlight search, push notifications, MMS, USB, Voice control and Bluetooth tethering apart from the Find My iPhone.
  • Then there was the tap-to-focus feature and enhanced video recording.

2010 – iOS 4.x

  • This version of iOS was a boon for users since it could multitask and switch between the Apps faster than before.
  • Other newly introduced features were that of custom wallpapers, app folders, Face Time, Retina apart from a unified Inbox with threaded emails and the ability to search text on the Messages app and geotagging photos as well.
  • In the later updates, Personal Hotspot, Game Center, AirPrint and AirPlay were released.

2011 – iOS 5.x

  • The biggest feature that Apple came out with in this version of the iOS was Siri which brought voice assistance and voice recognition.
  • iCloud was also released in this version apart from the Notification Center which gave the choice to interact with the notification while using an app.
  • Other features were locked screen notifications, launch of the camera app from the lock screen, Reminder App in sync with iCal and Outlook, message, Newsstand, Twitter integration and multitasking gestures with a split keyboard on the iPad.

2012 – iOS 6.x

  • This version was where Apple released their own Maps app with turn-by-turn voice navigation. However, Apple’s Maps failed on them and many looked to alternatives before Google Maps was re-released on the App Store.
  • Apple also introduced Passbook, marking entry into the world of digital wallets and payments with a mobile device.
  • New features also include Do Not Disturb mode, Guided Access, panorama photos on the native camera app and Facebook integration allowing users to update status with a button on the notification center.

2013 – iOS 7.x

  • New icons. The new “flatter” icons being used by Apple.

  • New dialer. Gone is the two tone dialer keypad. Gone are the square buttons. In their stead is a clean white background with blue circular buttons.


  • New control center. No more looking for that gear icon to get at the most-used functions. By simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen, users can access the control center.


  • New keyboard and search. Swipe the finger down the screen and voila! Search is up. And Apple have put one more icon in the bottom row.


  • New browser. If users are not fond of being unable to see all the open browser tabs/windows, then this is an improvement. With the new tab display, users can simply scroll through the browser tabs like index cards.


  • New notification center. Notifications on iOS 7 received a complete overhaul.


  • New multi-tasking mode access. Double-clicking the home button will not longer simply expose apps running in the background. It will show users the screens themselves, which users can swipe up to close.



Final Thoughts

To change its fundamental design architecture would turn it into something that was not the iOS that most users have come to love these past years. Rather, Apple chose to move to a new modern take on iOS while maintaining the familiar heart of the system that many users have loved for years.

About Allistair Lee

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pocket Insider. Allistair has been a tech enthusiast since he was at the age of 15. His current interest includes Android smartphones and tablets, among many other devices.

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