iOS Overview Updated November 30, 2021

iOS

The world’s most advanced mobile operating system

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4,643 'iOS' stories

August 2010 - November 2021


iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system that runs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Historically, Apple releases a new iOS version once a year, the current version is iOS 13.

In 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and iPhone OS. During the event, Jobs referred to the operating system as OS X because it shared a similar Unix core compared to the Mac. When Apple launched the iPhone SDK a year later, they officially changed the name to iPhone OS.

In the summer of 2008, Apple added the App Store to iPhone OS with version 2.0, and this set the stage for the “app economy” that we still enjoy to this day.

Version 3.0 was released in 2009, and it included copy/paste, MMS support, Spotlight, mobile tethering, and push notifications for 3rd party apps.

In version 4, Apple finally renamed iPhone OS to iOS (with the iPad sharing the same software). The major features were multitasking and FaceTime.

iOS 5.0 introduced Notification Center, iMessage, Siri, and iCloud.

iOS 6.0 removes Google Maps in favor of Apple Maps and added the Passbook app (now known as Wallet).

Version 7.0 brought a dramatic redesign of iOS with a new font, flatter icons, a and new Photos app. The redesign was led by Jony Ive.

Version iOS 8.0, Apple finally allowed third-party keyboards and the ability to share files from different apps.

Version 9.0 included Apple Maps, an overhauled Notes app, and multitasking for iPad.

Version 10.0 included an SDK for Siri, Maps, and iMessages.

Version 11.0 included a new iPad Dock, Customizable Control center, drag and drop on iPad, and the Files app with third-party integration.

Version 12.0 added Screen Time features for managing your time on devices, the Shortcuts app, ARKit 2.0, and Memoji.

iOS 13 added Dark Mode, swipe-style typing, a redesigned share sheet, made app downloads 50% smaller, 2x faster app launch speed, Memoji Stickers and Memoji Makeup, HomeKit-enabled routers and HomeKit Secure Video, a new “Sign in with Apple” option for logging into third-party services, all-new Apple Maps, and much more.

Compatible Devices with iOS 13

  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

iOS Stories November 30

How to factory reset your iPhone

Whether you are selling your iPhone, having issues, or just want a fresh start, there are a variety of reasons you may need to erase it. Let’s take a look at how to factory reset iPhone.

iOS Stories November 29

Rocket League ‘Sideswipe’ is now available on Android and iOS worldwide

After launching a beta test in recent weeks, Epic Games and Psyonix are now launching the mobile version of Rocket League, “Sideswipe,” on Android and iOS devices across the globe.

iOS Stories November 8

YouTube TV now supports Safari for Mac, while website currently works on iPadOS with PiP

Officially, watching Google’s cord-cutting service on the web requires Chrome or Firefox, while Chromium-based browsers — like Microsoft Edge — also work. In recent days, YouTube TV has rolled out support for Safari on macOS.

iOS Stories November 2

After hearing rumblings about Netlifx working on its gaming service this past summer, the media giant is officially jumping into the space with its first five mobile games. Netflix launched its gaming service exclusively for Android but the company says iOS compatibility is “on the way.”

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Mozilla launched a major Firefox update for Mac, iOS, Android, and more this past summer and now the popular browser gets another useful overhaul today. For iOS and Android, Firefox now has a new homepage with a focus on recently viewed tabs and searches, one-tap private mode, and more.

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iOS Stories October 13

Last month security researcher Denis Tokarev, aka illusionofchaos, shared his experience of reporting three zero-day iOS vulnerabilities to Apple with specific criticism around how the company is slow to respond, act, and didn’t give him credit for one of the three flaws that were patched. Now it appears Apple has fixed another zero-day flaw, this one in iOS 15 that Tokarev found earlier this year, without giving him credit.

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Amid growing pressure from private companies and governments to allow sideloading on iOS, Apple is out today with a new security paper diving into real-world data on how malware is impacting mobile devices. Along with statistics like Android having between 15 and 47 times more malware than iPhone, Apple is making its latest case against sideloading with data and recommendations from the US Department of Homeland Security, European Agency for Cybersecurity, NIST, Norton, and more.

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iOS Stories October 10

Google is now focused on making its iPhone and iPad apps feel more native to iOS

Google applications on iOS have long been criticized for not feeling native to the platform. Earlier this year, the company’s designers reviewed their approach for developing iOS apps and opted for a change. 

iOS Stories October 7

An Apple Japanese antitrust investigation was closed last month, when the Cupertino company made a major concession. But just six weeks later, a new antitrust investigation has been opened in Japan, into the market dominance of iOS and Android.

The news comes on the same day that the Dutch antitrust authority found Apple’s in-app payment arrangements to be anti-competitive …

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iOS Stories October 6

Google Search bug sees AMP sites disappear on Safari for iOS 15, fix coming

Accelerated Mobile Pages launched five years ago as Google’s plan to speed up the web on smartphones and tablets. It has wide adoption, but a bug in Google Search today sees Safari users in iOS 15 no longer being served the AMP version of sites.

iOS Stories September 23

Apple is rolling out iOS 12.5.5 to older iPhone and iPad models today. The company says the update includes notable security fixes and improvements, and is recommended for all users.

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iOS Stories September 13

Apple has published a full support document detailing what’s new in iOS 14.8, watchOS 7.6.2, iPadOS 14.8, and macOS Big Sur 11.6. Apple says that the updates address security vulnerabilities that “may have been actively exploited in the wild.”

Update: Citizen Lab has published a new report today with more details on the vulnerabilities. The gist of it? Update all of your devices ASAP.

In a statement, Ivan Krstić, head of Apple Security Engineering and Architecture, said:

“After identifying the vulnerability used by this exploit for iMessage, Apple rapidly developed and deployed a fix in iOS 14.8 to protect our users. We’d like to commend Citizen Lab for successfully completing the very difficult work of obtaining a sample of this exploit so we could develop this fix quickly. Attacks like the ones described are highly sophisticated, cost millions of dollars to develop, often have a short shelf life, and are used to target specific individuals. While that means they are not a threat to the overwhelming majority of our users, we continue to work tirelessly to defend all our customers, and we are constantly adding new protections for their devices and data.”

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Apple is releasing iOS 14.8 to the public today for iPhone users, just days before we expect iOS 15 to also be released to the public. Analytics and Xcode data had previously suggested that iOS 14.8 was in development, and sure enough, it is rolling out now alongside iPadOS 14.8.

Update: More details on the security fixes here.

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iOS Stories August 24

Here’s how to officially turn on YouTube Picture-in-Picture (PiP) for iPhone right now

Back in June, Google started rolling out Picture-in-Picture support in YouTube for iPhone. It’s not widely available yet, but YouTube Premium subscribers can experimentally enable PiP in the mobile app today.

iOS Stories July 26

Android’s ‘Data Restore Tool’ readies transferring WhatsApp chats from iOS

Google’s Data Transfer Tool, the standard tool for copying files from one Android to another or from iOS to Android, is preparing to offer a way to copy your WhatsApp chats from your iPhone.

iOS Stories July 20

Google is rolling out Chrome 92 for iOS today with a number of new user-facing features and tweaks.

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iOS Stories July 14

While Apple constantly works to improve the security of its devices, hackers are always looking for new ways to crack the security systems found in the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other devices. Earlier this year, an exploit found in Apple’s WebKit (which is the Safari engine) allowed hackers to extract login information from iOS devices.

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With iOS 14.5 released to the public earlier this year, iPhone and iPad users now have the ability to easily opt out of cross-site and cross-app tracking and targeting. New data from analytics firm Branch indicates that just 25% of users are opting in to tracking, which is causing panic in the advertising industry.

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iOS Stories July 9

Over the last several weeks, a flaw has emerged in iOS that means a handful of network names can actually disable Wi-Fi on your iPhone altogether. In the latest beta of iOS 14.7, which Apple released to developers and public beta users yesterday, Apple has seemingly fixed this bug.

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iOS Stories July 2

Weather Strip iOS app expands clever timeline view with ‘feels like’ temp and humidity

Weather Strip launched last month with a unique week-long hourly timeline view to see everything going on with the weather in a single horizontal graph. Now the neat app is getting air temperature and humidity with the latest update.

iOS Stories June 21

The initial iOS 15 developer beta has been available for two weeks, and I have a lot to share after some extended hands-on time with this massive release. iPhone users are in for a treat thanks to such features as tag support for the Notes app, Focus modes with customizable Home screens, and major updates to Accessibility. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough as we explore more than 300 of the top iOS 15 features, and be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for lots of additional iOS 15 coverage in the coming days and weeks.

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iOS Stories June 15

Opera GX launches as a dedicated gaming browser for iOS/Android, perfect for xCloud and GeForce Now

Web gaming on iPhone and Android continues to gain momentum with services like Microsoft’s xCloud and Nvidia’s GeForce Now and Opera is opening up the beta of its customized browser for gamers today. The new Opera GX is available to try now and comes with haptic feedback, custom skins, gaming news/deals, and more.

Update 6/15: Opera GX for iPhone and iPad has now left beta and is available for all users for free on the App Store (and Android too).

iOS Stories June 8

Apple is upgrading the CarPlay experience with an update coming to the iPhone this fall. iOS 15 introduces new features for drivers, including Announce Messages with Siri, Driving Focus for handling notifications, new wallpapers for personalizing appearance, and even more.

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iOS Stories June 3

Google’s iOS expert shares 7 iPhone and iPad tips for power users

Google’s iOS lead has shared an interesting look at his favorite tips and tricks with Google iPhone and iPad apps for advanced users today. From new widget features and handoff with Chrome mobile to Mac, to Face ID support in Google Drive and more, check out these 7 Google iOS power user tips.

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