Most industry experts will cite that the first practical mobile phones began to emerge in or around 1992. At the time, these devices were mainly centred about basic functionality as opposed to any real notion of personalisation. On the contrary, the primary intention during the 1990s involved attempts to make mobile devices smaller and easier to use. Furthermore, the only practical options involved SMS messaging and voice telephony. However, the industry would eventually reach a point where further reducing the size of mobile phones would be impractical. They instead began to take a look at how the operating systems themselves could be enhanced. Let’s examine how the mobile OS has evolved over the years.
The Windows OS was the predecessor to other brands that we have come to know and rely upon such as Android and iOS. In fact, the first true “smart” phone was arguably the Windows Pocket PC (introduced in October 2001). While billed as a convenient portable computer, it could also perform basic functions such as making calls to others who owned a similar device. This was then followed up by the somewhat short-lived Windows Mobile OS in 2003. Windows Phone nowadays has mostly disappeared, with just a 0.02% of market share, and peaked at a 3% of the market in 2013.
The original Android company was founded in 2003 and at the time, it was nothing more than yet another startup organisation. Google, who were working on their own operating system, nonetheless realised that Android’s OS was actually much more efficient when compared to their own iterations and therefore, Google purchased Android in July 2005. The first Android OS (known as the Open Handset Alliance) was thereafter released in 2007. Android is the most used OS worldwide, with a 70.77% of the market share.
Apple CEO Steeve Jobs was actually envisioning what would eventually become known as the iOS as far back as 2005. His vision was said to be a shrunk-down version of the Mac OS that could be used within mobile devices. After two years of in-house development, the first version of the iPhone was displayed to the public (with much fanfare) in 2007. When the iPhone debuted, it had 3% of the global market, but nowadays has risen to 28.52%.
Whether playing casino games in Canada on reputable sites such as Jackpot City or streaming the latest media content, OS developers still faced many challenges. They needed to design operating systems that offered an intuitive edge while still possessing an ample amount of processing power. This is also why the late 2000s and the 2010s were defined by numerous OS updates for both Android and iOS systems. While iOS stuck with numerical terms (such as iOS 5), Android took a more colourful approach with titles including Donut, Gingerbread and Jelly Bean. Either way, both were learning to strike a delicate balance between functionality and usability.
Modern smartphone operating systems have now taken on a life of their own. They boast blistering-fast 5G connectivity, a host of built-in apps and levels of customisation that would have been nearly impossible to envision in the past. Considering how fast the devices themselves are evolving, we can only imagine what innovations will come to light in the future.