What Does iOS Stand For? [All You Need To Know]

Deyan Georgiev
close Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Feb 07, 2023

Deyan Georgiev
Website Manager | Joined October 2021

Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Fa... | See full bio


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Have you ever wondered what kind of mobile operating system runs your Apple devices? Indeed the answer is one google click away in the form of an abbreviation - iOS.

But what does iOS stand for, and how to navigate through all the information around it - let’s find out.

What Does iOS Stand For?

iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is an iPhone operating system. The software is designed to support every mobile device manufactured by the company. iOS devices include iPads, iPod Touches, and iPhones.

In technical terms, the operating system was built with an object-oriented programming language called ‘objective C.’ This OOP adds Smalltalk-style messaging to the C language. 

Then Swift was introduced at Apple's 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference. This new open-source programming language allows developers to get even more creative. Today most iOS apps rely on these two languages.


In the beginning, Steve Jobs wanted to create a phone which had fewer features but could be operated effortlessly. He insisted on prioritizing functionality and simplicity over complexity. However, another pioneer before the iPhone paved the way to creating the first smartphones.

In the mid-2000s, Blackberry dominated the market. The product had a significant impact on how people communicated. In the corporate world, Blackberrys were an ideal tool for staying in touch with your colleagues.

Then in 2007, the first iPhone was released, along with the iPhone OS. Notedly, the device didn’t have as many features as its competitors. So, why was it then such a success? It focused on the key factors that later became Apple’s most treasured commodities - speed and consistency

Since the release, new features have been added, creating an even better customer experience. It wasn’t until 2010 that the name evolved into iOS.

What Is An iOS Device?

iOS devices range from smartphones to tablet computers. This includes iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone. 

An iOS mobile operating system is at the heart of all these devices, allowing you to easily stay up to date with the latest version of the software.


Even though iOS didn’t start with many features, things have improved over time. New options have been introduced every summer since the release in 2007, and today the operating system has much to offer. 

Let’s take a look:


Multitasking on iPhone lets users watch a video or facetime in a picture-in-picture window while using another app.


Siri is Apple’s virtual assistant. It helps you find information, send texts, or even facetime people with a voice command. Wonder what the weather is like? Want to make a quick note or set up a timer? Simply ask Siri, and she’ll respond through the device’s speaker.


Every iOS device has a high-standard built-in data security system. It uses an AES crypto engine that provides advanced encryption. You don’t need to install an antivirus on your iPhone OS. However, a VPN, or virtual private network, would be a good idea.


Mobile apps developed by Apple usually run more smoothly on an iOS device. It’s the same with web browsers. A great feature that Safari offers is uninterrupted browsing. This means that you can start reading an article on your iPhone and continue reading the same article on your Macbook or iPad.


FaceTime is Apple's video and audio chatting platform. It’s custom-built for iOS devices, and the user experience is excellent. There are also many features like clips, Cycling and EV routes, translating apps, etc. 

Soon, FaceTime will be available for Android users and on Windows as well. 

Pros and Cons of iOS


One of the most significant advantages of iOS is the battery life. iPhone batteries tend to generate far less heat than those that run on other operating systems. If asked “what does iOS stand for,” many users will agree - an uninterrupted working experience. 

Multitasking is also a big pro when creating a stimulating and creative environment

Another big plus is the high-security standards. iOS devices usually use the Apple store to download mobile apps, which means that everything is tested for malicious software.


The platform fails to offer a computer-like experience because of its simplicity. The performance options are a bit limited.

iOS runs only on hardware created by Apple. This means that if you want to enjoy an iOS supported feature, your device needs to be by Apple Inc. 

It’s pricey as well. An iOS device is considered expensive. However, Apple has tried to fight this reputation by releasing the iPhone SE in 2020. A budget-friendly version of the traditional iPhone

Wrap Up

We answered essential questions about the iPhone OS, discussing the main advantages and disadvantages of iOS usage

Now, hopefully, you have a better understanding of your Apple device and how it functions.


Which is better, Android or iOS?

Apple always thinks of quality over quantity. When choosing your mobile device, you should think about the following: If you want fewer features but with smooth operation - choose iOS. If you're going to explore a wide range of apps and functions at the cost of speed and security, choose Android.

What does the iOS version mean?

First, we must answer, what does iOS stand for? 

It’s an operating system for Apple mobile devices. Since its release, iOS has had many versions which include new features and updates. You can check which version of iOS you’re using by going to the settings menu. 

Is a laptop an iOS device?

No. iOS devices are iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. The equivalent of iOS for laptops is MacOS.


Deyan Georgiev

Deyan Georgiev

Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.

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