Contributor(s): Brita Van Fossen

iOS is Apple's proprietary mobile operating system (OS) for its handheld devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The operating system is based on the Macintosh OS X.

Designed for use with Apple’s multi-touch devices, iOS supports input through direct manipulation. The system responds to various user gestures, such as pinching, tapping and swiping.

Other iOS features include:

  • Integrated search support enables simultaneous search through files, media, applications and email.
  • Gesture recognition supports, for example, shaking the device to undo the most recent action.
  • Google Maps direction services.
  • Push email.
  • Safari mobile browser.
  • Integrated camera and video.
  • Integrated media player.
  • Direct access to the Apple Store’s catalogue of applications, music, podcasts, television shows and movies.
  • Compatibility with Apple’s cloud service, iCloud.

On October 12, 2011, Apple released iOS 5, which expanded the number of available applications to over 500,000.


See also: Android OS, Palm OS, mobile phone virus, wireless service provider (WSP), OS commanding

This was last updated in December 2011

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