When Apple (APPL) released the first iPhone and its operating system in January 2007, the company revolutionized the smartphone industry.
OS X — as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had called it at the reveal until Apple renamed it the iPhone OS when the phone went up for sale that June — offered a touchscreen on which people could use their fingers to make selections. It made searching the web and using Google Maps easy. It had a larger screen and a keyboard that appeared and disappeared. The iPhone OS had visual voicemail, allowing people to skip the voicemail prompts. Plus, it was an iPod.
In the wake of WWDC, looking at Apple's first operating system shows how far the software has come.
Perhaps the biggest development between iPhone OS and iPhone OS 2 was the App Store. The initial operating system did not support third-party apps. It came with fewer than 20 "desktop applications." That was it.
People also could not customize their home screens or create folders for apps.
It did not support 3G or a multimedia messaging service, which allows people to text pictures and other multimedia content. There was no tethering. The iPhone OS was not functional for multitasking by and large.
Plus, people could not edit Office documents on their phones. The user could not even copy and paste text.
There were issues with attaching files to emails, because iPhone OS hid the file system, and it did not support Exchange push email.
Unlike some other phones at the time, it also did not have voice dialing. Plus, Siri was not in existence yet.
The iPhone was created by a team of software engineers led by Scott Forstall. They were looking to shrink the Mac computer in a competition with another Apple team looking to enlarge the iPod. Many stores sold out within an hour of its release. Time magazine named it the invention of the year in 2007. In four years of production, Apple sold more than 6.1 million of the original iPhone.
In 2010, Apple ended its support for iPhone OS 1. That year, Apple switched to using the iOS name for its fourth edition of the operating system.
Editor's Pick: Originally published June 5.