What is iOS exactly, and how does it differ from Android? We address all of your inquiries in this article so that you are familiar with the fundamentals of Apple’s mobile operating system.
What is iOS?
The iPhone and iPod Touch are both powered by iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system. It served as the iPad’s operating system until 2019 (more on that in a moment).
If you’re unfamiliar, an operating system (OS) is a type of software that controls every aspect of a device, making it essential to a computer’s operation. In addition to managing the numerous processes that are running on your computer, it offers a platform for the hardware and software of the device to communicate.
You most likely use Windows, macOS, or Linux as your operating system on your desktop computer. The most widely used mobile operating systems are Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
What Does iOS Mean?
It takes some more explanation to understand iOS in its entirety. “iPhone OS” was the initial name of the operating system for the iPhone when it first debuted in 2007. Despite the name, iPhone OS was also used on the iPod Touch, which was introduced later in 2007.
Apple unveiled the iPad in 2010, which utilized the same OS. Later that year, when the mobile OS’s fourth version was released, Apple changed the name of the operating system to “iOS” because it was now used by more devices than just the iPhone.
You might also be interested in knowing where the I branding originated. Since the iMac’s release in 1998, Apple has made use of this throughout its entire product line.
The excitement of the internet and the simplicity of the Macintosh were married, according to Steve Jobs at the time, to create the iMac. Apple elaborated on this with a slide that demonstrated additional meanings for the I prefix, including individual, instruct, inform, and inspire.
What is the latest version of iOS?
The most recent version of iOS that is currently accessible to the general public is iOS 16. In more detail, iOS 16.0 was made available on June 6, 2022. If you want to try the most recent updates, which are still in beta, there are also newer versions of Apple software available.
Check out what’s new in iOS 16 for some of the most exciting new features if you’re not yet familiar with the most recent release.
When are the new iOS versions released?
Apple typically releases the most recent iOS version at WWDC in June of each year. There are currently only beta versions available for testing because this is intended for developers.
After its yearly iPhone announcement event, which typically takes place during the second week of September, Apple typically releases the most recent iOS version later in the year. Anyone with a compatible device can download the iOS update for free once it becomes available.
So, you can anticipate iOS 16 arriving sometime in September 2022.
Apple also releases a few minor updates to iOS every year. Because they increase the version number by a decimal point, these are known as “point releases” (such as iOS 15.3). These typically address bugs, patch security holes, and occasionally add minor feature updates.
What About Earlier iOS Versions?
Apple distinguishes iOS releases using straightforward number increments. The OS release is more recent if the number is higher.
Historically, Apple has stopped supporting older versions of iOS when it releases a new major version. This has changed, though, ever since iOS 14 was replaced by iOS 15. Apple kept providing iOS 14 updates after iOS 15 launched and initially made upgrading to iOS 15 optional. Additionally, the company provided security updates for devices running iOS 12 but was unable to upgrade to the most recent version.
While it’s wonderful to see Apple continuing to support older devices with the most recent iOS updates for a while and even offering updates for older versions, eventually the company will have to stop supporting outmoded devices. To see what devices the most recent version is compatible with, scroll to the bottom of Apple’s iOS information page.
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which were released in 2015, are the earliest devices on the list for iOS 15. It was possible to upgrade from iOS 13 to iOS 14 on all compatible devices, and vice versa for iOS 14 to iOS 15. We can extrapolate from this to determine the typical lifespan of an iPhone.
When you can upgrade to a new device if your older phone is still running iOS 12 or an earlier version. To keep your mobile life secure, you should switch to a modern device because Apple won’t continue to provide updates for outdated models.