Over the years mobile phones have gone from a bulky Motorola DyanaTac 8000x that was 13 inches in length, weighed 2.5 pounds and featured one application, a contact list. Today we have a number of different phones available. From touchscreen to gesture capabilities and phones with microphones allowing voice input which results in immediate action as well as the capacity to directly manipulate content. In this paper I am going to explore the growth of mobile applications and delve deeper into one of the most popular platforms on the market today, Apple’s iOS.
A Brief History Of The Mobile Phone
The first generation mobile phones were designed and developed by handset manufactures. Due to the amount of competition, trade secrets were guarded very closely and unless you were a developer in the inner circle you were not able to write applications for the phone. It was around this time that the first “time waster” games became available on these phones. Nokia became famous for putting the 1970 game, Snake, on their earliest devices. These early phones changed how people communicated. As popularity grew and phone prices dropped, people demanded more from their mobile gadget/apparatus.
The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) was developed to fulfill these demands. WAP was basically a stripped down version of HTTP, which is the basic protocol for the World Wide Web. However WAP fell short, it became frustrating for users to operate, as it was slow and hard to read on the small low-resolution screens. Users wanted more out of their devices and WAP was not fulfilling those needs.
This is when traditional desktop application developers became involved. Handset manufactures realized if they wanted to continue to sell and be successful they would have to change their policies regarding handset design. Their realization sparked the emergence of a variety of different platforms. One of the first was the Palm OS, which is now known as Garnet OS. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Samsung developed Symbian OS later. In 2007, Apple’s iOS joined the ranks with Google’s Android OS hitting the market a year later.
Apple released its iOS operating system in June of 2007. Even though it may be hard to believe now “when the original iPhone was introduced, it was actually well behind the competition when it came to a strict feature-by-feature comparison.” (Bohn, Dieter, and Aaron Souppouris, A Visual History, The Verge) By 2007 Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian, and even BlackBerry were established systems. However until iOS, smartphones either did not have a touchscreen or used a resistive touchscreen with a stylus.
The iPhone changed everything with its touchscreen capabilities. It gave the user a simpler, more powerful interaction experience. Apple nearly perfected the pinch to zoom and inertial scrolling to make apps feel more natural and immediate.
The iOS1 also introduced other application features that were important to the...