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iOS is a variant of the Mac OS X that was specifically designed for portable platforms. It is the OS used on the iPad and iPhone (including the iPod Touch version). It runs on Apple ARM processors. Note beginning with iOS 13 the iPad will use its own OS, iPadOS.


[edit] Versions

A new version is generally released each year.

  • Version 1 was the original OS for iPhone. Its original name was iPhone OS and was released in 2007. It only supported Apple Apps. It did support the first iPod Touch.
  • Version 2 supported an App store and third party Apps.
  • Version 3 was last version for iPod Touch gen 1 and original iPhone. A special 3.2.2 was released with the first iPad. This version introduced the spotlight app that could search for things.
  • Version 4 was iPod Touch Gen 2 version and iPhone 3G. It was the first to offer multi-tasking and an API. This was the first release to use the name iOS.
  • Version 5 was the first iPad 2 version and last version to support the iPad 1.
  • Version 6 is not supported on older hardware such as the iPad 1. It was first released with the iPad 4. iOS 6.0 provided a platform for audio-visual media, including electronic books, periodicals, films, music, computer games, presentations and web content.
  • Version 7 has significantly changed the GUI and was the first version to support 64 bit (A7) processors, which included the iPhone 5S, the iPad Air, and the iPad mini 2.

[edit] Version 8

  • was the first iPhone 6 version and iPad Air 2. Features include:
    • Quickly find and edit the photos you take.
    • Add your voice right in a text message.
    • Let your health and fitness apps communicate with each other, with your trainer, and even with your doctor.
    • We’ve also provided developers with deeper access and more tools.
    • You’ll have new keyboard options and even more ways to share your content.
    • And you’ll be able to use iCloud and Touch ID in ways you never have before.
    • support the Apple Watch (8.2)
    • shifted audiobooks to iBooks (8.4)
    • added AAE support for photos

[edit] Version 9

  • was the first version to split out features by device so that the iOS could run on older devices. There are many features which include:
    • AirDrop, AirPlay, AirPrint
    • carplay (only on iphone 5 and later.)
    • Split screen - Selected devices
    • Control Center, Notification Center
    • Siri - Selected devices
    • Spotlight Search
    • Apple Music with Family Sharing
    • iCloud Drive
    • Multitasking
    • QuickType Keyboard
    • Nightshift mode (9.3) selected devices for blue-light exposure

[edit] Version 10

includes: AirDrop, AirPlay, AirPrint, Control Center, Handoff, HomeKit, iCloud, iCloud Keychain, Multitasking, Night Shift, Notification Center, Siri,Spotlight Search. Supported devices include iPhone 5 and later, iPad mini 2 and later, iPad Gen 4 and later, basically all devices that have the lightning connector except the original iPad mini. It is designed specifically for 64bit processors.

[edit] Version 11

  • a giant leap for iPhone and a monumental leap for iPad, note that 32bit apps are no longer supported.
    • Files app: The new Files app brings all your files together. You can easily browse, search, and organize all your files in one place. And there’s a dedicated place for your recent files. Those on your iPad as well as in apps, on your other iOS devices, in iCloud Drive, and across other services like Box and Dropbox.
    • The new Dock is a foundational change for iPad. It’s now available from any screen. So with just a swipe, you can open and switch apps instantly. And you can customize it with more of your favorites. Apps you've opened recently and apps that are currently open on your iPhone or Mac appear in the right side of the Dock.
    • iOS 11 makes it easier and more intuitive than ever to multitask. You can open a second app right from the Dock, and both apps remain active in Slide Over as well as Split View. You can drag the second app in Slide Over to the left. And you can get back to your favorite App Spaces in the redesigned App Switcher.
    • Drag and Drop comes to iPad, allowing you to move text, photos, and files from one app to another. And because it’s been designed for the large Multi-Touch display of iPad, moving them around is pure magic. You can touch and move just about anything — or things — anywhere on the screen.
    • iOS 11 makes Apple Pencil for iPad Pro more versatile, powerful, and natural than ever. It’s more useful for all kinds of tasks, such as taking notes, getting work done, or simply being creative.
    • Letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation marks are now all on the same keyboard — no more switching back and forth. Just flick down on a key to quickly select what you need.
    • iOS is the world’s largest augmented reality platform. Games and apps now offer fantastically immersive and fluid experiences that go far beyond the screen. By taking advantage of the latest in AR technology, you can digitally redecorate your home, explore a city you’ve never visited, or even try on a new tattoo. The possibilities are endless.
    • iOS 11 makes iPhone and iPad so smart, they learn from you. So capable, they help you in more powerful and personal ways. And so in tune with you, they do things for you before you even ask.
    • iOS 11 brings the convenience of Apple Pay to Messages. Now sending money to friends — and receiving it — is as simple as a conversation.
    • Turn a Live Photo you love into a fun video loop. Choose an image yourself, or let Photos suggest which ones would make great loops.
    • Inspired by classic photography styles, new filters take the camera on iPhone to another level. Portrait photos are more expressive. Skin tones more natural. And next-generation compression technology lets you take new photos with the same quality as before at half the file size.
    • In iOS 11 the camera internal format is HEIF for wide color images. Exported images are still JPG but both can be saved.
    • The App Store has been redesigned from the ground up to help you discover new apps and games you can’t live without. You’ll see daily stories by experts, a dedicated Games tab, lists for all kinds of apps, and much more. It’s the biggest thing to come to the App Store since apps.
    • Messages. Get to apps with fewer taps. Now it’s even easier to get to all the fun. Share stickers, emoji, and games with your friends just by swiping across the redesigned app drawer. All the goodies, less effort.
    • Siri. Naturally, more helpful. iOS 11 makes the world’s most popular intelligent assistant even more helpful. Through advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence, Siri is more expressive, with a new, more natural voice. Translation is supported.
    • Now your friends can help you discover new songs and artists. Each of you can have your own profile on Apple Music, where you can see playlists they’ve shared as well as albums and stations they listen to often.
    • With the new AirPlay 2, you can control your home audio system and the speakers throughout your house. You can play a song in the living room and your kitchen at the same time. Adjust the volume in any room. Or have your music start instantly on all your speakers — in sync with one another.
    • iOS 11 lets you customize the redesigned Control Center so you can change the settings for the things you do most. Want to be ready when inspiration hits? Add a Voice Memos control. Want to dim the lights in the dining room with a tap? Add Home controls. Or use 3D Touch in Control Center to unlock even more commands.
    • The Lock screen is even more powerful. To get to all your notifications, just swipe up from anywhere on the screen. At a glance, you can see both your recent and missed notifications in one place.
    • iPhone can now sense when you might be driving and help keep you from being distracted by calls, text messages, and notifications. People trying to message you can automatically be notified that you’re driving.
    • Whether you’re going on a new adventure or just searching for the nearest coffee shop, Maps makes all your journeys smoother. From indoor maps to lane guidance arrows, it’s easier than ever to get around.
    • News becomes even more personal, showing top stories that are more relevant to you. Siri learns what’s important to you and suggests stories you might like. And our editors choose a different topic every day for you to explore in a new tab called Spotlight. They also craft a daily selection of the best videos for you to see in Today View.
    • Holding a coffee in one hand and your iPhone in the other? Simply touch and hold the emoji or globe key, select one-handed typing, and the keys will instantly move closer to your thumb.
    • automatic setup: Just hold your new iPhone or iPad near an iOS device to sign in with your Apple ID automatically. Many of your personal settings, preferences, and content will be quickly and securely imported. Or in technical terms, easy peasy.
  • OS11 requires a 5s or later iPhone, a iPad mini 2, 5th generation or later iPad, or a 6th generation iPod touch

[edit] Version 12

  • adds more security and other features. Release Sept 12, 2018.
    • Speed up the things you do every day
      • Up to70%faster swipe to Camera
      • Up to50%faster keyboard display
      • Up to2xfaster app launch under heavy workload
    • FaceTime with up to 32 people at once - coming in a point release.
    • Create an Animoji just for yourself
    • Say it with four new Animoji.
    • Liven up the conversation with Camera effects
    • Augmented Reality (AR) gets so real you can share it with friends.
    • Screen Time: Be more aware of how you and your kids use your devices.
    • Easily take control of your notifications.
    • Turn on Do Not Disturb and forget about it.
    • A new way to share your best photos.
    • A smarter way to search your photos.
    • Siri shortcuts: Streamline the things you do often with shortcuts.
    • iOS protects your privacy. Even when websites don’t.
  • Trackpad mode using space bar - Tapping and holding on the Spacebar will turn the iOS keyboard into a virtual trackpad for more precise text and object selection.
  • Revised iBooks version 4. Now called Apple Books
  • The redesigned Stocks app.
  • Voice Memos comes to iPad.
  • Apple News: The best journalism all in one place.
  • Automatic strong passwords.
  • Security code AutoFill.
  • Third-party navigation apps in CarPlay.
  • Siri does even more. Get race stats for motorsports, find answers to food and celebrity questions, quickly look up a password, or search for your favorite memories.
  • Contactless student ID cards in Wallet. In a point release.
  • More battery information up to 24 hours or 10 days.

[edit] Version 13

Starting with version 13 the iOS is being split into two separate but related OS's. One continues as iOS for iPhones and a second called iPadOS for most iPads. iOS 13 released Sept 19, 2019.

  • Dark mode - automatic evening setting for reduced light.
  • Photo tab - special settings for viewing photos.
  • Camera - adjust lighting and effects.
  • Privacy - location controls
  • Homekit - secure videos.
  • Maps - new from the ground up.
  • Siri - TTS, improved intelligence
  • Shortcuts - improved
  • Homepod - recognize voices for personal touch
  • Airpods - share a song, get notifications directly
  • Memoji - automatic
  • Keyboard - improved ease
  • Reminders - all new design
  • Carplay - improvements and additions
  • Performance - 2X launch speed.
  • Custom fonts - You can now install custom fonts and use them in your favorite apps.
    • Manage fonts - Easily see and manage the fonts you’ve installed right in Settings.
    • App Store - Fonts will be available from the App Store, making it easy to find and install them.
  • Additions and improvements to apps.

iPhone support includes: iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S plus and all later products, iPhone SE, and iPod Touch (7th generation)

[edit] Built-in Apps

Less that 150 MB of storage. (not all apps shipped on all devices)

  • Camera
  • Photos
  • Messages
  • FaceTime
  • Mail
  • Music
  • Safari
  • Maps
  • Siri (on models having the lightning connector)
  • Calendar
  • iTunes Store
  • App Store
  • Notes (significant improvement in 9.3)
  • Contacts
  • iBooks (free download on earlier OS versions) v. 12 calls it Apple Books
  • Game Center
  • Reminders
  • Clock
  • Videos
  • Photo Booth
  • Podcasts
  • News
  • TV
  • Find My iPhone
  • Find My Friends
  • Health (on later models, only iPhones)
  • File app (on iOS Version11 and up)
  • Stocks app
  • Settings
  • Tips
  • Compass
  • Calculator

Free downloadable Apps from Apple on later models

  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • Keynote
  • iMovie
  • GarageBand
  • iTunes U
  • Apple Store
  • Trailers
  • Remote

[edit] Accessibility

Accessibility features help people with disabilities get the most out of their new iPad Air. With built-in support for vision, hearing, physical and motor skills, and learning and literacy, you can create and do amazing things, Features include:

  • VoiceOver
  • Zoom
  • Magnifier
  • Siri and Dictation
  • Switch Control
  • Closed Captions
  • AssistiveTouch
  • Speak Screen

[edit] Syncing

Syncing with iTunes on a Mac or PC requires:

  • Mac: OS X 10.11.6 or later
  • PC: Windows 7 or later
  • iTunes 12.8 or later on Mac and iTunes 12.9 or later on PC (free download from

[edit] URL scheme

In general, an iOS app can open another iOS app by its URL scheme, if exists, and asks it to perform various actions through its parameters. For example, a reader app (MapleRead, Marvin, etc.) may thus open a dictionary app with the word to be looked up. Or perhaps you want to look up the map of a place you read in a book. As http is also a scheme implying a web browser app, you may also specify a website URL instead. This is clearly very useful and easy to do, as long as you know the URL schemes with parameters. See MobileRead forum discussion for more details.

The following URLs have been identified.

  • The free dictionary thefreedictionary://search/{word}
  • Dictbox Dictbox://{word}
  • dictbox deutsch dictboxde://{word}
  • dictbox french dictboxfr://{word}
  • v-for-wiki v-for-wiki://search/_/{word}
  • wikipedia wikipedia://{word}
  • iTranslate -- itranslate://translate?from=auto&to=da&text={text} (use {word} for MapleReader)
  • Twitter -- twitter://post?message={word}
  • Google Chrome -- googlechrome://{word} for http
  • Google Chrome -- googlechromes://{word} for https

[edit] For more information

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