Much has changed since Steve Jobs first introduced Apple’s latest device to the world in 2007: the iPhone.
Since its release, the iPhone has helped make smartphones the most important technology in our lives and created a new industry of app developers.
The way we use our smartphones has also changed dramatically. It’s not just a fancy BlackBerry anymore that we use to make calls or send emails. Almost every piece of our life is contained in this fancy slab.
In June, Apple will organize its Worldwide Developers Conference, during which he will detail his latest mobile operating system, iOS 15 and new ways to take advantage of our iPhones.
So what has changed since that first iPhone 14 years ago? Let’s look back:
iPhone OS 1
Release date: June 29, 2007
Main characteristics: Application store? Still too early. The original iPhone featured basic apps including Mail, a mobile version of the Safari browser, a camera, and a built-in YouTube app with an icon that looked like an old-fashioned TV. There was even an iPod app if you wanted your music.
iPhone OS 2.0
Release date: July 11, 2008
Main characteristics: The App Store debuts, ushering in a renaissance of flashlight and fart noise apps. There were also other apps, such as Facebook, Pandora, and MySpace (when we were still using it) that allowed you to stay in touch with your friends or listen to music. At launch, the App Store had over 500 apps. Other features included corporate support, contact tracing, the ability to delete or move emails in bulk, parental controls, and a scientific calculator.
Release date: June 17, 2009
Main characteristics: Cut, copy and paste features are finally coming, as is MMS support, which allows users to send photos in text messages. The software update also allowed users to type on the keyboard in landscape mode (holding the phone sideways).
Release date: June 21, 2010
Main characteristics: This software update added support for multitasking, so iPhone owners can quickly switch between apps. The update also added folders to group apps into a single collection as well as the ability to customize Home and Lock screens with wallpapers, included in iOS 4 or with photos.
Release date: October 12, 2011
Main characteristics: This year marked the arrival of iCloud, a variety of free cloud-based services for Apple devices. The 2011 software update also introduced a notification center to keep tabs on notifications, the new iMessage text messaging tool (which also lets you know which friends had an iPhone based on the blue or green text bubble. ) and the debut of the voice assistant Siri.
Release date: September 19, 2012
Main characteristics: Apple is trying its luck in navigation with a Maps application. However, it couldn’t compete with other services like Google Maps or Waze. The software update integrated Facebook with contacts and calendar, and the Passbook, which would later become Wallet and house various items such as boarding passes or gift cards.
Release date: September 18, 2013
Main characteristics: An important software update for Apple, iOS 7 has significantly overhauled the design of its mobile software. It also introduced AirDrop, for quick information sharing between iPhones, and an iTunes Radio function. The camera has included new Instagram-style filters and better organization in its Photos app, so you can sort by “times” or by time period. But it also suffered from major issues at launch such as batteries that drain quickly and problems connecting to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Release date: September 17, 2014
Main characteristics: Billed as “the largest version since the launch of the App Store”, iOS 8 introduced several important features, including iCloud Photo Library, easier ways to share voicemail messages or photos through iMessage, predictive typing Long-awaited Apple iPhone Keyboard and Health App.
Release date: September 16, 2015
Main characteristics: The Notes app gets a big upgrade with the ability to sketch in a note or quickly create great looking checklists. The Maps app adds support for transit routes, while the News app has made its debut. Apple also released Live Photos, which automatically captures a video clip when you take a photo. The software update also featured battery optimization and a low power mode to get a little more juice from your iPhone.
Release date: September 13, 2016
Main characteristics: iMessage gets new animations like balloons flying across the screen to celebrate a birthday, while Siri opens to support third-party apps when users make requests to the voice assistant. The update also introduced a new Home app to control smart home features.
Release date: September 19, 2017
Main characteristics: The App Store is undergoing a major overhaul, and iPhone owners are getting support for augmented reality apps. The iPhone’s Control Center is also revamped and allows users to customize which apps to include. The new iOS also adds screen recording.
Release date: September 17, 2018
Main characteristics: A Screen Time feature is added so that users can see how much time they are spending on their iPhone as well as set times for downtime. IOS also streamlines notifications so that multiple alerts from the same app are grouped together. There’s also a new measure app for measuring objects and upgrades to Do Not Disturb to eliminate notifications while you sleep.
Release date: September 19, 2019
Main characteristics: No more blinding white background light, because Apple introduced a dark mode. Maps is also receiving an update so that users can view locations in 3D. The update also adds several tools for editing photos, such as adjusting the lighting in an image.
Release date: September 16, 2020
Main characteristics: IPhone owners finally have a way to personalize their homescreens with the introduction of widgets for apps. Users also receive drop-down alerts when they receive a phone call that does not remove them from the app they are using. An upgrade to iMessage lets users pin important messages to the top of the app, while an app library option lets users keep apps on their phones without cluttering their home screens.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettmolina23.