The evolution of iOS: From iPhone OS to iOS 11

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Original iPhone running iOS 1
A lot has change since 2007.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhone turns 10 The operating system that powers the iPhone has undergone radical changes since Apple launched the device 10 years ago.

As part of Cult of Mac’s collaboration with Wired UK to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, we took a look at the evolution of iOS, from a simple touchscreen operating system lacking key features into a true computing behemoth with more tools than any one user could possibly need.

iPhone 7 finally loses in speed test against Android rival

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iPhone 7 in hand
iPhone 7 isn't top dog anymore.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Thanks to Apple’s engineering magic, the iPhone has long outpaced its Android-powered rivals.

In real-world speed tests, the iPhone can blaze past high-end competitors from the likes of Google, Samsung and LG, despite slower processors and less RAM. But not anymore. We finally have an Android device that packs more power than the iPhone 7 — and that’s the OnePlus 5.

Qualcomm has the tech to put Touch ID in an iPhone display

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Touch ID
Embedding Touch ID under the iPhone 8's display is one of the big rumors for this year's handset.
Photo: Apple

Whether Apple will be able to deliver on the rumor that it will be embedding its Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the display of the iPhone 8 remains to be seen.

However, a new demo coming out of the currently-happening Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017 demonstrates that it is indeed possible — with Qualcomm showing off ultrasonic technology that allows fingerprint unlocking even through OLED displays.

Today in Apple history: Mac LC 520 sets its sights on the classroom

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LC 520
The face of classroom Macs a quarter century ago.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

June 28: Today in Apple history June 28, 1993: Apple ships the Macintosh LC 520, an “all-in-one” Mac targeted exclusively at the education market.

The first Macintosh to be shipped with a non-optional 2x CD-ROM drive, it’s designed to capitalize on schools’ multimedia requirements — a classroom Mac made especially for students in the decade of Nirvana, Bill Clinton and Pulp Fiction.

China’s black market can build an iPhone from scratch

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iPhone black market China
China's black market looks like "an iPhone factory has thrown up all over itself."
Photo: Brian Merchant/Wired

iPhone-turns-10-1You don’t have to visit a Foxconn factory to see an iPhone built from scratch.

Visit China’s black market and you’ll meet traders with the components, tools, and know-how to build you a working handset for a fraction of the price you would pay Apple. The whole process is complete by the time you’ve finished your coffee.

2017 App Store revenue crushes Apple’s entire 2007 earnings

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App Store icon
With 2 million apps, the App Store is almost too big.
Photo: PhotoAtelier/Flickr

iOS 11 makes Spotlight search super-powerful

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spotlight search in iOS 11
Spotlight in iOS 11 is a power-users dream, letting you find anything -- whether on the web on on your device -- fast.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Spotlight search gets a big overhaul in iOS 11. The Spotlight updates in initial beta versions of iOS 11 don’t seem quite as spectacular as the iPad’s new Dock, or drag-and-drop, but the small tweaks make the search tool a lot more useful.

Now you can search both your iPad and the web, similar to how you conduct a search in Safari. If you ever used Launchbar, Alfred or Quicksilver on the Mac, the new iOS 11 Spotlight will feel familiar.