iOS 1.0 vs 10: how Apple's mobile OS has changed since 2007

What a difference nine years makes…

The latest version of iOS is set to be released next month — it’s the tenth version of the operating system and adds a ton of extra features and functionality to make using your phone and tablet even more seamless. Read all the latest on iOS 10 and iPhone 7

But here at we wanted to get a little nostalgic and look back at the original operating system that started everything to see just how much things have changed. Apple’s North Star has always been about simplicity, but looking back at iOS 1.0 almost makes you want to redefine that word.

Slide to unlock

Remember the days when opening your phone required you to slide your finger across the thick ‘slide to unlock bar’? It’s interesting that this feature has remained a staple of the iPhone but has slowly started to drift away from its day in the sun after Touch ID and the immediacy it brings eliminates any need to slide and enter a passcode.

App what?

The App Store wasn't released until 2008 — that means early adopters of the iPhone had to spend a year with the stock apps on the device. 16 Applications were all you had before developers had a platform to work on. Back in 2007 the iPhone was being talked about as a magical phone without buttons that only had one giant display to touch. Looking back shows the constraints of being an early smartphone adopter, you couldn't even change the order of your apps.


The iPhone launched in 2007 with a native YouTube and maps application that was powered by Google. It took Apple five years to make their own maps service and confine Google Maps to the App Store. Remember when Apple Maps first launched and everyone was up in arms about how terrible it was? Those days seem to be long gone with the service improving year over year with IOS 10 seeing new features such as being able to locate petrol stations while on a long car journey.

Things are a lot more complicated now…

Apple’s always been able to enamour its customers by providing well-honed and simple features to their operating systems. This was exemplified with the settings that came with the original iPhone — they were as basic as things come. There was no clutter in the menus because there were no third party applications to cater for. The myriad of different settings in the later versions of IOS has led to complaints about privacy with the ‘frequent locations’ tab found on iPhones today as a leading example.

A smartphone — but not so smart by todays standards

In 2007 a phone was smart by not having physical keys to press, giving you a browser on the go and giving you an awesome way to keep track of important internet things like email. Nine operating systems later IOS carry’s a lot more nuances with it. Making a phone smart now means having subtle features that will impress everyone around you — that’s why Apple are introducing features like ‘raise to wake’ where your phone screen will automatically turn on and show you any notifications you’ve missed.

A clear heritage

Even with all the changes that have overhauled IOS since the original phone’s launch it’s still clear you're looking at the same operating system. Some applications still look remarkably similar to the ones you used nine years ago and much of the functionality is the same. The same foundation of the operating system remains, there’s just a mansion with all the luxuries built on top of it instead of the small bungalow that existed before.

You appreciate an operating system more when you’ve been there since the early days of no video recording, the black wallpaper that couldn't be changed and the lack of any third party applications. IOS is an operating system that’s incredibly simple to use, but also has a deluge of nuances to offer users that want to delve deeper into functionality. IOS has never looked sleeker or had more uses than with IOS 10, but let’s always remember where this incredible system started off.

Now why not read: iOS 10 features: all the latest on iOS 10