Mobile and Wireless: Apple iOS: 10 Things You Might Not Have Known

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2012-03-27 Print this article Print
Whats In a Name?

Whats In a Name?

Given the speed of technological innovation, it's easy to forget sometimes that "iOS" is a relatively recent term. Until June 2010, Apple referred to its mobile operating system as "iPhone OS."
Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch sell millions of units every quarter, attracting praise from tech pundits and customers alike. Without the iOS operating system, though, these best-selling devices would be nothing but very well-designed pieces of aluminum and glass. Initially unveiled in January 2007, and previously known as the "iPhone OS," the operating system relies exclusively on touch control. The name shift to iOS, of course, is a byproduct of Apple's mobile-device family extending beyond the original iPhone and iPod to the iPad, currently the dominant tablet on the market. The current version, iOS 5.1, arrived in March 2012. Much of iOS's strength rests in the third-party developer community, which has filled the App Store with more than 550,000 products over the past few years. The mobile operating system's evolutionary drive also comes from thousands of customers demanding all-new features, such as multitasking. That sort of back-and-forth has left iOS with an interesting history in its wake, along with some fun facts.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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