What is iOS: Apple’s Mobile Operating System

Topic Progress:

While Apple’s Mac products use macOS to run software and other applications, Apple’s mobile products use iOS. Short for iPhone Operating System, iOS is the software used on all iPhones, and is designed to utilize all of the built-in hardware features on these devices. iOS has many benefits to iPhone users, including a series of built in applications, as well as seamless compatibility and synchronization with other Apple products.

All iPhones come with certain applications pre-installed, these programs include Photos, Weather, Safari, Camera and more. These applications are designed to seamlessly integrate into your iOS system, and provide easy ways to interact with the hardware on your device. Throughout this course, we will guide you through using each of these features. In addition to these built-in applications, iOS is designed to synchronize with your other Apple products using iCloud, meaning your photos, contacts, messages and more update across all Apple digital platforms in real time.

While iPhones use iOS, iPad products use a similar operating system, with a few adjustments made to take advantage of certain aspects of the iPad that are not available on the iPhone. As a result, iPads use iPadOS. This software is similar to iOS, with some slight differences, which we will illustrate later on in this course. As these changes are only minor, the iPadOS topic will be built into the iOS course, and most of the information we present here will be pertinent to both types of device: iPads and iPhones.

For both iPadOS and iOS, there are several versions readily available for use, as Apple frequently updates their software in order to maintain the quality of user experience. Most major software updates occur yearly, with minor patches and changes released in the interim to deal with any glitches or bugs that require fixing.

In order to determine your current iOS version on your iPhone or iPad, navigate to the Settings, select “General” and then “About.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_1907-473x1024.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_1908-473x1024.png

On the next screen you will see the specifications of your device: the serial number, model number and model name. On the second line you will be able to see your software version, typically written in a decimal format, such as 14.2 or 15.1.

If you want to determine whether your device is up to date, open Settings, select “General” and then “Software Update.” On the next screen, after a moment, any available software updates will populate on the screen. These prompts will list the next version available, and if you have enough storage on your device, should allow you to download and install the latest version. If you are up to date, the screen that appears will simply state that there are no updates available.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_1907-1-473x1024.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_1910-473x1024.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_1911-473x1024.png

As we move through this course, you will learn the basic fundamentals of Apple’s mobile products: how to navigate the operating system, how to use the various hardware components of the device, and how to maximize the features available in your machine.

Takeaway: iOS is the built-in operating system that comes with all iPhones. Developing a well-rounded understanding of this program allows you to take advantage of all features available on your Apple device. It is important to keep your software up to date so that your machine remains secure and compatible with various applications and programs that you may use everyday.