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What does iOS mean?

Category: iOS Apple Information

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A Definition of iOS

Based on Macintosh OS X, iOS is an operating system that Apple uses in its mobile devices and iPhone. The operating system “supports input through direct manipulation,” as it is designed specifically for multi-touch devices. iOS responds to pinching, tapping, and swiping. iOS stands for Internet (i) and operating system (OS).

In general terms, if you use an Apple device, you are using iOS. iOS is the engine of an Apple device; it is responsible for turning on the device and running all of the apps and functions on the device. For example, iOS is what allows users to alter the brightness of their screen and secure their devices with a passcode. iOS also is responsible for allowing users to connect to their at-home WiFi networks to get online with their devices. iOS runs the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini, and Apple Watch. This is why many people refer to these devices as iOS devices.

Features and Benefits of iOS

The latest version of iOS is iOS 9. iOS 9 is known for its easy-to-use interface, security and outstanding features. Apple describes iOS 9 as being “designed to look beautiful and work beautifully, so that even the simplest tasks are more engaging.” Apple engineered iOS 9 to be capable of fully utilizing the advanced technologies built into the company’s hardware so that the devices are ahead of the curve.

iOS has several features, including…


  • Integrated search support for simultaneous search through files, media, applications, and email
  • Gesture recognition such as shaking the mobile device or iPhone to undo the most recent action
  • Google Maps direction services
  • Push email
  • Safari mobile browser
  • Integrated camera, phone, and media player
  • Direct access to the Apple Store
  • Compatibility with iCloud, Apple’s cloud service
  • Free updates easily downloaded wirelessly on Apple devices, with alerts about the latest version
  • Stream content from your iOS device to your HDTV and speakers via AirPlay and Apple TV
  • Share files wirelessly with anyone else running iOS or OS X via AirDrop
  • Use Handoff to move between devices or from a device to your Mac when signed in to the same iCloud account

Users prefer iOS because it is intuitive in nature. The home screen features built-in apps and features, allowing users to quickly search or switch between apps. iOS has an ease of use that users enjoy whether they are multitasking, searching, or opening their favorite app.

Apple tailors iOS and its hardware to work seamlessly together, so the apps fully utilize Apple devices’ dual-core processors, accelerated graphics, and wireless antennas. iOS gives iPad users the ability to work two apps at once. Plus, iOS understands when users use their apps and then updates content during power-efficient times, keeping apps up to date and avoiding battery drain. For these reasons, iOS helps users to maintain productivity.

Disadvantages of iOS

 iOS Devices

Android lovers are quick to point out that iOS is mostly a closed operating system, whereas Google’s Android is considered more open. Tech-inclined users prefer Android’s openness because it allows for customization that is not possible with iOS. The majority of iOS is closed-source, so there is very little room for making a new operating system from it. While this matters to some people, the majority of Android users do not feel the need to install a custom ROM (read-only memory) because they purchase new phones that are supported by the manufacturer to avoid modernizing their older phones with custom ROMs. This is a moot point for iOS users, because iOS updates across devices.

The other disadvantage of iOS being a closed operating system is that it prevents users from installing applications from anywhere other than Apple’s App Store. In some cases, this means that iOS users cannot install an app they may want on their iOS device, without jailbreaking the device.

iOS also has been known for being buggy. Currently, there is a great deal of talk about the Error 53 issue that has made countless iPhones useless. Error 53 impairs phones that have been repaired by a third-party. Apple claims Error 53 is “a security feature of iOS 9 that keeps your personal information secure.” Apple officially states, “If your iOS device has Touch ID, iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor matches your device’s other components during an update or restore. This check keeps your device and the iOS features related to Touch ID secure. When iOS finds an unidentified or unexpected Touch ID module, the check fails. For example, an unauthorized or faulty screen replacement could cause the check to fail.” Yet, some users are reporting receiving Error 53 even though their devices were not repaired nor opened.

Overall, iOS is a very popular operating system that Apple fans love for its user-friendly nature and productivity.


Images via Flickr by osde8info and Janitors

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