iOS and iPhone – technology that changed the world

As the operating system that powers the Apple iPhone, iOS is the second most widely installed mobile operating system in the world, after Google’s Android. As of 2022, there are 1.8 billion active iOS devices in the world. Globally, iOS accounts for around 30% of the market, but this share is significantly higher in certain regions, such as the US, where the operating system’s share is closer to 60%.

iOS was introduced in 2007 as iPhone OS 1 for the first generation iPhone, and is now in its 16th iteration. The iPhone was the first smartphone without a physical keyboard or stylus. It was also the first mobile phone to feature multi-touch, which is technology that enables a device to detect multiple points of contact on the screen at the same time. Multi-touch revolutionised the way we interact with mobile devices, with functions like pinch-to-zoom appearing on all mobile operating systems after its introduction on iPhone OS 1.

At Netgen, we develop native iOS mobile apps using React Native.

Why iOS is so popular

User-friendly – iOS, and Apple products in general, are built to be simple and easy to use. This intuitiveness is core to Apple’s design ethos. Because Apple has control over everything in their system (even third-party apps, to a large extent), they limit potential incompatibility issues so that things almost always work as expected.
Security – iOS is generally considered to be more secure than Android. This is due to iOS being a closed system – Apple’s operating system is not open-source, and the code cannot be easily modified on an Apple device. This makes it difficult for hackers to find vulnerabilities to exploit. It’s also less likely that a malicious app will get published in Apple’s App Store compared to Google’s, as Apple’s review process is more rigorous.
Performance – Since Apple’s ecosystem is closed, they’re able to optimise their software to work with each iPhone model. This results in a fast, smooth experience for users.
Updates – As long as they’re not too old, each iPhone can receive the latest patch as soon as it’s released. Android devices, on the other hand, only receive an update after their manufacturer has prepared and optimised it, which only happens after Google has released it.
The ecosystem – Apple products integrate very well with each other, so if you own an iPhone and an iPad, Apple TV, and/or an Apple Watch, you can easily sync data and control one device from another.

The App Store

Apple’s App Store is the second biggest mobile app store, with over 2 million apps.
When it was launched in 2008, there were 500 apps on the App Store. A quarter of these were free, and 90% of the remaining apps were priced at $9.99 or less.
In the very first weekend, there were 10 million app downloads.
In the first three months, the number of available apps had risen to over 3000, and there were over 100 million app downloads.
In 9 months after launch, the billionth app was downloaded.
In 2018, it was announced that developers on the App Store had earned a total of $100 billion.

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