The Evolution of the iPad From iOS 3 to iOS 9
The popularity of the iPad is undeniable. MacRumors reports that Apple sold 12.3 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2014 and more than 237 million iPads total. Apple has continued to impress its users since it unveiled the original iPad in 2010 with the tremendous growth and development of its technology and software. Now, with the release of the iOS 9 beta this month, the power of the iPad looks like it will keep growing. To keep these advancements in perspective, here’s a look at the evolution of the iPad:
Apple’s operating system began with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. When the iPad came along in 2010, Apple released iOS 3.2 with the purpose of adding customization options for the iPad’s screen resolution. While many core Apple apps, such as Safari, required iPad-specific changes, for the most part, the original iPad was simply a very large iPhone in terms of its design specs.
In July of 2010, iOS 3.2.1 helped correct some display issues, specifically regarding the display of signal strength. However, the next big iOS update for the iPad didn’t occur until iOS 5. This update included Siri, a virtual assistant, and iMessage, an app that allowed users to send multimedia messages and see delivery receipts. But the most important development in iOS at the time was the removal of required desktop tethering to activate devices. This shift meant that an iPad could be someone’s primary computing device.
The arrival of iOS 6 radically altered the way Apple interacted with third-party technology, which was most notable in the end of Apple’s license of “Google Maps.” iOS 6’s “Maps” app featured the first step-by-step navigation for an iOS app. Facebook’s app also reached a new level with integration into the Siri app. The new OS also featured Passbook, which stood to become a competitor to Google’s powerful Wallet app.
The next two updates (iOS 7 and iOS 8) brought about the largest visual and design changes to the platform since iOS 3. One of the biggest changes was the concept of “Continuity,” in which Apple hoped to achieve a seamless stream of data between all of its devices. Featured on the iPad Air 2, iOS 8 was built to allow users to integrate data across devices so they could take calls and receive texts from their computer, iPad or iPhone.
iOS 9 is set to launch this fall with enhancements that will give users a richer experience on the iPad. Some of the biggest innovations include the Slide Over, Split View and Picture in Picture features that will allow users to interact with multiple apps and information streams simultaneously. These multitasking features may very well cement the iPad’s place as an alternate to desktop computing and change the way people use them for business and leisure. Users also can look forward to more shortcuts, easier text selection and a more defined keyboard in iOS 9. All of these features are needed to help the tablet grow and evolve.