Apple iOS Mobile Platform

iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system developed and distributed by Apple Inc. Originally released in 2007 for the iPhone and iPod Touch, it has since been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPad and Apple TV. Unlike Windows CE (Mobile and Phone) and Android, iOS is only available on Apple's Devices and Hardware.

The user interface of iOS is based on the concept of direct manipulation, using multi-touch gestures. Interface control elements consist of sliders, switches, and buttons. The response to user input is immediate and provides a fluid interface. Interaction with the OS includes gestures such as swipe, tap, pinch, and reverse pinch, all of which have specific definitions within the context of the iOS operating system and its multi-touch interface. Internal accelerometers are used by some applications to respond to shaking the device (one common result is the undo command) or rotating it in three dimensions (one common result is switching from portrait to landscape mode).

iOS is derived from Mac OS X, with which it shares the Darwin foundation, and is therefore a Unix operating system. It has four abstraction layers: the Core OS layer, the Core Services layer, the Media layer, and the Cocoa Touch layer.

Some of the features of iOS are briefed below.

Notification Center
You get all kinds of notifications on your iOS device: new email, texts, friend requests and more. With Notification Center, you can keep track of them all in one convenient location. Just swipe down from the top of any screen to enter Notification Center. Choose which notifications you want to see. Even see a stock ticker and the current weather. New notifications appear briefly at the top of your screen, without interrupting what you're doing. And the Lock screen displays notifications so you can act on them with just a swipe. Notification Center is the best way to stay on top of your life's breaking news.

Before iOS 4, multitasking was limited to a selection of the applications Apple included on the devices and an array of jailbroken modifications.Starting with iOS 4, on 3rd-generation and newer iOS devices, multitasking is supported through seven background APIs:
  • Background audio - application continues to run in the background as long as it is playing audio or video content
  • Voice over IP - application is suspended when a phone call is not in progress
  • Background location - application is notified of location changes
  • Push notifications
  • Local notifications - application schedules local notifications to be delivered at a predetermined time
  • Task completion - application asks the system for extra time to complete a given task
  • Fast app switching - application does not execute any code and may be removed from memory at any time

PC Free - Independence for all iOS devices
With iOS 5, you no longer need a computer to own an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Activate and set up your device wirelessly, straight out of the box. Download free iOS software updates directly on your device. Do more with your apps — like editing your photos or adding new email folders — on your device, without the need for a Mac or PC. And back up and restore your device automatically using iCloud.

Safari - Even better site-seeing
iOS 5 brings even more web-browsing features to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Safari Reader displays web articles without ads or clutter so you can read without distractions. Reading List lets you save interesting articles to peruse later, while iCloud keeps your list updated across all your devices. On iPad, tabbed browsing helps you keep track of multiple web pages and switch between them with ease. And iOS 5 improves Safari performance on all your iOS devices.

Game Center
iOS is the world's most popular gaming platform. With iOS 5, you can get your game face on with even more Game Center features. Post a profile picture. Meet your match with new friend recommendations based on the games you play and the players you already know. Discover new games without leaving Game Center. And size up an opponent on the spot with new overall achievement scores.

Wi-Fi Sync
Wirelessly sync your iOS device to your Mac or PC over a shared Wi-Fi connection. Every time you connect your iOS device to a power source (say, overnight for charging), it automatically syncs and backs up any new content to iTunes. So you always have your home videos and photo albums everywhere you want them.

Multitasking Gestures
iOS includes a few new moves and shortcuts to help you get around even quicker on your iPad 2: using four or five fingers, swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar, pinch to return to the Home screen and swipe left or right to switch between apps.

AirPlay Mirroring
Wow your audience in the board room, classroom or living room. AirPlay now supports video mirroring. Which means you can wirelessly — and securely — stream whatever's on your iPad 2 or iPhone 4S to your HDTV via Apple TV. Everyone in the room sees exactly what's on your iPad or iPhone display up there on the big screen — even when you rotate your device from portrait to landscape or zoom in and out.

iOS comes with innovative new features that make it easier for people with mobility, hearing, vision and cognitive disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. iOS works with specialised hardware accessories. The LED flash and custom vibration settings let you see and feel when someone's calling. And improvements to VoiceOver include custom element labelling. These are just a few of the ways iOS continues making advances in the field of accessibility.

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