iOS is a mobile operating system for apple’s devices. It is developed and distributed specifically for hardware developed by apple inc. Unveiled in 2007, it was originally meant for iPhone devices but this was later extended to most of the Apple’s portable devices except the Mac. Apple’s application store contains more than 1.2 million applications as of June 2014, almost half of which are customised for iPad.
The user interface of the iOS is based on direct manipulation which allows the user to control the functions of the phone by real life gestures such as pinching, tapping and so on. Each gesture has a specific command predefined, or can be customised for enhanced user experience. Apart from gestures, hardware components such as the Accelerometer and proximity sensor also manipulate the functioning of the device. Major versions of the iOS are released annually with the latest one being iOS 7 which was released in June earlier this year.
On 9th January 2007, at the Macworld Conference and Expo, this operating system was released along with the iphone. Initially, there was no specific name for this operating system and it was called iphone OS. Subsequently with the release of iPod touch, with almost the same operating system without the phone functionality, and with the release of iPad again with the same operating system, Apple gained the idea that iphone OS might not be the best name for this operating system, thus in 2010 it was rebranded to what we know it as iOS.
The mobile operating system altogether provides a rich user interface which when coupled with robust hardware makes for a mobile operating system which is fast, effecting and user friendly at the same time. The main features of iOS are its home screen, Notification centre, huge application market, folders, Multitasking, Background application support (multitasking) and many more. The home screen offers a stack of application with the dock bar at the bottom of the screen, the application stack on the front page contains most used applications and the dock bar contains the main applications of the phone such as mail, web, calling and messaging. The notification centre provides important notification to the user like call and messages. The application market of the iOS is humongous with more than 1.2 million applications. The creation of folders in the later version of iOS allows a user to customise and sort his most favoured applications. In the earlier versions of iOS multitasking was limited to a few applications, like music and newsstand, but this was later upgraded and now multitasking is provided in a number of applications which are also customisable.
In 2007 Steve Jobs, then CEO of the Apple Inc announced that a service development kit will be made available to the developers to develop iOS apps with a developer fees. Apple has the most exhaustive application store in the mobile application market even ahead of Google’s Android. Business owners realise the potential market which iphone users have, thus the need and importance of having an iOS applications cannot be overlooked.