iOS

iOS
Logo
Screenshot
DeveloperApple, Inc.
Source modelClosed source (with open source components)
Initial releaseiPhone OS 1
(29 June 2007)
Latest releaseiOS 16.0.2 (20A380)
(22 September 2022)
Latest previewiOS 16.1 (20B5056e)
(27 September 2022)
Supported platformsARM64 (as of iOS 7), ARM32 (prior to iOS 11), iPod touch (prior to iOS 16)
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
User interfaceCocoa Touch
LicenseProprietary (with open source components)

iOS is a series of mobile operating systems developed by Apple for their mobile device platforms (iPhone, iPod, and iPad). It was originally or formerly called iPhone OS and introduced alongside the 1st generation iPhone. The name stayed until the release of the iPad in early 2010 when Apple rebranded it to iOS. In 2019, Apple began to use the iPadOS moniker to brand the version of the operating system used on iPad devices.

iOS is based on the codebase of macOS, formerly OS X, and shares the same kernel, filesystem, and binary formats. The userland of iOS is like that of macOS, but with a mobile-friendly design that is touchscreen and content-centric. iOS lacks direct access to the filesystem and is unable to run arbitrary code by default. The only distribution method for software officially allowed on iOS is the built-in App Store. Since the release of iOS 11 in 2017, iOS has only been compiled for 64-bit ARM-based processors. It only runs on the iOS platforms manufactured by Apple. Since the release of iOS 16 in 2022, iOS has only been compiled for iPhone models.

iOS's userland consists of a home screen (known as Springboard) that manages the user's applications. Many applications from macOS exist in iOS and vice-versa.

iPhone OS 1 through iOS 10 was 32- and 64-bit compatible. However, iOS 11 dropped support for 32-bit ARM processors and corresponding binaries. iOS 11 was also the first version of iOS with only 64-bit support. iOS 7 was the first version of iOS to bring 64-bit support.

Until late 2020, Apple used the “Golden Master” or “GM” build. In late 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Golden Master” or “GM” build was replaced by or updated to the “Release Candidate” or “RC” build. Since late 2020, Apple has used the “Release Candidate” or “RC” build.

iPhone OS 1 through iOS 15 was compatible with both iPhone and iPod touch. However, unlike iOS 11, which dropped support for 32-bit apps, iOS 16 dropped support for iPod touch. iOS 16 is also the first version of iOS supported only on or by iPhone since iOS 11, which was the first version of iOS to support only 64-bit apps.

No official emulator that can run the retail version of iOS exists. However, Apple provides the iOS Simulator, which runs a modified build of iOS on top of macOS with output in a dedicated window. Unofficial emulators like Corellium and QEMU-T8030 can emulate iOS to an extent.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

Name Darwin version Codename Release date Notes
iPhone OS 1 9.0 Alpine (iPhone OS 1.0)
SUHeavenlyJuly (iPhone OS 1.0.1 - 1.0.2)
Snowbird (iPhone OS 1.1 - 1.1.1)
Oktoberfest (iPhone OS 1.1.2)
Little Bear (iPhone OS 1.1.3 - 1.1.5)
June 2007
iPhone OS 2 9.? Big Bear (iPhone OS 2.0 - 2.0.2)
Sugar Bowl (iPhone OS 2.1 - 2.1.1)
Timberline (iPhone OS 2.2)
SUTimberline (2.2.1)
July 2008
iPhone OS 3 9.? Kirkwood (iPhone OS 3.0 - 3.0.1)
Northstar (iPhone OS 3.1 - 3.1.2)
SUNorthstarTwo (iPhone OS 3.1.3)
Wildcat (iPhone OS 3.2 - 3.2.2)
June 2009
iOS 4 10.3.1 Apex (iOS 4)
Baker (iOS 4.1)
Jasper (iOS 4.2)
Phoenix (iOS 4.2.5 - 4.2.10)
Durango (iOS 4.3)
June 2010
iOS 5 11 Telluride (iOS 5)
Hoodoo (iOS 5.1)
October 2011
iOS 6 13 Sundance (iOS 6)
Brighton (iOS 6.1)
September 2012
iOS 7 14 Innsbruck (iOS 7)
Sochi (iOS 7.1)
September 2013 First version of iOS to bring support for ARM64
iOS 8 14 Okemo (iOS 8.0 - 8.0.2)
OkemoTaos (iOS 8.1)
OkemoZurs (iOS 8.2)
Stowe (iOS 8.3)
Copper (iOS 8.4)
September 2014
iOS 9 15 Monarch (iOS 9.0 - 9.0.2)
Boulder (iOS 9.1)
Castlerock (iOS 9.2)
Eagle (iOS 9.3 & 9.3.1)
Frisco (iOS 9.3.2)
Genoa (iOS 9.3.3 - 9.3.6)
September 2015
iOS 10 16 Whitetail (iOS 10.0 - 10.0.2)
Butler (iOS 10.1)
Corry (iOS 10.2)
Erie (iOS 10.3 & 10.3.1)
Franklin (iOS 10.3.2)
Greensburg (iOS 10.3.3 - 10.3.4)
September 2016 Final version of iOS with 32-bit ARM support
iOS 11 17 Tigris (iOS 11.0 - 11.0.3)
Bursa (iOS 11.1)
Cinar (iOS 11.2)
Dalaman (iOS 11.2.5 & 11.2.6)
Emet (iOS 11.3)
Fatsa (iOS 11.4)
Gebze (iOS 11.4.1)
September 2017 First version of iOS with only 64-bit ARM support and to drop 32-bit ARM support
iOS 12 18 Peace (iOS 12.0 - 12.5.6) September 2018
iOS 13 19 Yukon (iOS 13.0 - 13.7) September 2019
iOS 14 20 Azul (iOS 14.0 - 14.8.1) September 2020
iOS 15 21 Sky (iOS 15.0 - 15.7) September 2021 Final version of iOS supported on or by iPod touch after iOS 10
iOS 16 22 Sydney (iOS 16.0 - 16.1) September 2022 First version of iOS supported only on or by iPhone since iOS 11 and to drop support for iPod touch