What Does iOS Stand For?

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Ultimate iOS Guide For 2024

Have you ever wondered, “What does iOS stand for?”. With the increasing prevalence of iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) in our daily lives, understanding the meaning behind this widely-used acronym has become essential.

In this guide, our experts at AirBeamTV talk all things iOS, shedding light on its true definition and providing you with a comprehensive understanding of this ubiquitous term.


iOS stands for “iPhone Operating System.” It is the operating system software that runs on Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices. It is similar to the software that runs on a computer, controlling how the device functions and providing a platform for other apps to run on. Think of it like the “brain” of the iPhone or iPad.

The latest iteration of iOS is named iOS 16.

iPad and iPhone on a white surface. There's a hand using an iPad and a cup of tea.

What does iOS do?

iOS is responsible for everything that goes on on your iPhone or iPad. Think making phone calls, sending text messages, taking pictures and videos. What’s more, iOS runs apps like Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram and allows you to download them as well. On top of that, browsing the Internet, sorting out settings and way way more – all of that is what iOS does!

What does the i in iPhone stand for?

The “i” in iPhone stands for “internet”. When the iPhone was first introduced by Apple in 2007, one of its main selling points was its ability to connect to the internet and browse the web. In addition, the “i” prefix was also used in other Apple products at the time, such as the iMac and the iPod, which stood for “internet” and “individual”, respectively.

What does iPad stand for?

iPad does not officially stand for anything, but according to Apple, it is simply a name for their tablet computer. However, many people speculate that the “i” in iPad may stand for “internet”, as was the case with other Apple products like the iMac and the iPhone.

Additionally, some have suggested that the “pad” portion of the name is an abbreviation for “personal access device” or “personal application device”. However, these are all just speculations, and Apple has not officially confirmed the meaning behind the name.

How does iOS work?

When you turn on an iOS device, the iOS operating system takes control and starts up the device. It then loads the SpringBoard, which is the main user interface. The SpringBoard displays icons for each of the apps installed on the device, and provides the user with a way to launch them.

The iOS operating system also manages the device’s resources, such as memory and storage, and controls the device’s hardware, such as the camera and touch screen. It also provides a set of services, such as push notifications, that allow apps to communicate with each other and with the Internet.

iOS also includes a built-in set of apps, such as Safari for browsing the web, Mail for email, and Maps for navigation. Additionally, iOS provides the App Store, a digital distribution platform that allows users to download and purchase apps, games, and other digital content.

iPad with a colorful wallpaper and app icons. iPhone with app icons on a white table.

How To Update iOS?

To update iOS on an iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the device to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Go to the “Settings” app and select “General”.
  3. Tap “Software Update” to check for available updates.
  4. If an update is available, tap “Download and Install” to begin the update process.
  5. Enter your passcode or Touch ID when prompted.
  6. Agree to the terms and conditions.
  7. Wait for the update to download and install.
  8. Keep the device connected to power and connected to Wi-Fi until the update is complete.

It’s important to note that the above steps may vary slightly depending on the device’s model and iOS version. Also, make sure to have a recent backup of your device, in case something goes wrong during the update process.

How can I see which iOS version I have?

To check which iOS version is currently installed on your iPhone or iPad, you can follow these steps:

  • Open the “Settings” app on your device.
  • Tap on “General”
  • Tap “About”
  • Look for the “Software Version” field. The number listed next to it is the version of iOS currently installed on your device.

Alternatively, you can also check the iOS version by:

  • Going to “Settings”
  • Tap on “General”
  • Tap on “About”
  • Look for the “Software Version” or “Version” field. The number listed next to it is the version of iOS currently installed on your device.

Two iPads on white surface

Creating TikToks on iOS Devices

Learning about what iOS stands for opens up the fascinating world of Apple’s operating system, pivotal for devices like iPhones and iPads. If you’re an iOS user interested in content creation, especially in making engaging videos, you might want to explore how to effectively record a TikTok on your device. It’s a great way to leverage your iOS device’s capabilities for creative expression. For step-by-step instructions on crafting your next viral video, check out our guide on how to record a TikTok.

How much space does iOS 15 take up?

The amount of space that iOS 15 takes up on your device will vary depending on the specific device model and the amount of storage it has. However, as a general rule, the minimum storage requirements for installing iOS 15 are as follows:

  • iPhone: 50-60 GB
  • iPad: 60-70 GB

It’s worth noting that the actual amount of space required may be higher depending on the specific device and the amount of data you have stored on it. Additionally, performing a software update can sometimes require more space than a clean installation, as temporary files may be generated during the update process. To ensure that you have enough space for the update, it’s a good idea to back up your data and remove any unnecessary files or apps before updating to iOS 15.

Learn about what to do when screen mirroring doesn’t work on iOS 15 devices!

How to activate screen mirroring on iOS?

Screen mirroring is a very useful technique. With it, you can easily cast your iOS device screen to your Smart TV. It’s the perfect way to watch photos and videos, scroll apps, catch up on the latest news and way more. How about watching a Twitch or TikTok livestream? All from your phone or tablet to the large screen of your TV!

AirBeamTV makes it remarkably easy to activate screen mirroring for iOS. Simply download the AirBeamTV screen mirroring app from the App Store and install it. After that, launch the app and connect to your TV. Also, connect your iOS device’s & TV to the same WiFi network.

AirBeamTV is a convenient and secure way of mirroring your device’s screen straight to your television with just a few clicks! Our apps work with all popular Smart TV models – Samsung, LG, Philips, Sony, Hisense, TCL and more. They also work with streaming devices – Firestick, Roku and Chromecast. We’ve got something for everyone and each of our apps comes with a free trial.

What does IPSW stand for?

IPSW stands for “iPhone/iPod/iPad Software”. An IPSW file is a firmware update file that contains the software for an iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPod, or iPad. When you update your device’s software, iTunes or Finder will download the IPSW file and use it to install the new firmware on your device.

The IPSW file contains the operating system, kernel, and other files that are necessary for the device to function. It can also include updates to apps, system settings, and security patches. Users can also download the IPSW file manually and use it to update their device using iTunes or Finder, without having to download the update over the air.

How to downgrade to iOS 12.1.2?

one of the latest iPad running on iOS software with a grey background

The current iOS version is iOS 16. However, some prefer the old version of Apple’s software. Downgrading to an earlier version of iOS can be a bit tricky, but it is possible. Here are the general steps to downgrade to iOS 12.1.2 on an iPhone or iPad:

Make a backup of your device

Before you begin, it’s important to make a backup of your device so you don’t lose any important data. You can do this by connecting your device to iTunes or iCloud and following the on-screen instructions.

Download the iOS 12.1.2 IPSW file

The IPSW file is the firmware file for the specific version of iOS that you want to install. You can download the iOS 12.1.2 IPSW file from a reputable website, such as ipsw.me.

Put your device in Recovery mode

Recovery mode is a special mode that allows you to restore your device. To put your device into Recovery mode, you’ll need to follow these steps:

On an iPhone 8 or later

Press and release the Volume Up button, then press and release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side button until the recovery mode screen appears.

On an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus

Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons together until the recovery mode screen appears.

On an iPad with no Home button

Press and hold the Top button and the Volume Up button until the recovery mode screen appears.

Once your device is in Recovery mode, connect it to your computer and open iTunes. iTunes will prompt you to restore your device. Click on “Restore” and choose the iOS 12.1.2 IPSW file that you downloaded earlier. iTunes will begin the restoration process and install iOS 12.1.2 on your device.

Downgrading iOS – what to keep in mind

Please note that downgrading an iOS version may lead to data loss, so make sure that you have a backup of your device before proceeding. Additionally, downgrading to an older version of iOS may also lead to some compatibility issues with apps and features.

It is also worth noting that Apple may not sign older versions of iOS, in that case it will not be possible to downgrade.

iPhone and iPad on a table

How long does iOS 15 take to install?

To get iOS 15 on your iPhone or iPad, the system has to be first downloaded. This takes approximately five to 15 minutes and depends on how stable and fast your Internet connection is.

Next, your device has to install the iOS 15. This can take between 10 and 20 minutes. Lastly, you have to setup your iPhone or iPad. That should take around five minuntes.

In total, you can install iOS 15 on your iPhone or iPad in between 20 to 40 minutes.

Why won’t my phone update to iOS 15?

You want to get the latest iOS on your iPhone. But for some reason,the update is not possible. Let’s go through some of the possible reasons for and solutions to that problem.

Insufficient storage

Updates take up quite a bit of space. If you can’t download the new iOS onto your device, make sure you have enough storage for that. Go to Settings – General – Device Storage to review any space issues you might have. From there, you’ll be able to easily delete old files and cache.

A woman in a black coat using a white iPhone in a snowy landscape

You have no WiFi

In order to donwload iOS updates, you need to be connected to the Internet. If you’re experiencing issues with updating, be sure to check whether you’re connected to WiFi. Maybe you’re in a spot in your house that has weak signal? Or maybe you’re connected to a public WiFi that is not very reliable?

In any case, make sure your iPhone is connected to stable and strong WiFi. That will ensure iOS updates can successfully download onto your device.

Your iPhone is not compatible

Some older iPhone models are not compatible with the latest iOS updates. iOS 15 should be downloadable on the following series: iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. Additionally, it will work with iPhone SE.

How has iOS evolved over the years since its inception?

The evolution of iOS since its inception is marked by significant advancements and updates. Initially launched in 2007, the operating system has undergone numerous transformations, introducing features that have enhanced user experience and functionality. With each update, new capabilities are added, ranging from improvements in security to the introduction of innovative functionalities like Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant. The journey from its first version to the latest has been characterized by Apple’s commitment to innovation and user-centric design.

What differentiates iOS from other mobile operating systems, such as Android?

When comparing iOS to other mobile operating systems, such as Android, distinct differences emerge. iOS is known for its seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem, offering a unified experience across all Apple devices. This contrasts with Android’s open-source nature, which allows for greater customization but can lead to fragmentation. iOS’s user interface is often cited for its simplicity and ease of use, while its App Store is renowned for its strict app vetting process, ensuring a high level of app quality and security.

Can iOS be installed on non-Apple devices, or is it exclusive to Apple products?

The question of whether iOS can be installed on non-Apple devices is frequently asked. It is important to understand that iOS is designed exclusively for Apple products. The installation of iOS on devices not manufactured by Apple is not supported by Apple and violates their software licensing agreements. This exclusivity is part of Apple’s strategy to ensure a high-quality, consistent user experience across its devices. Attempts to install iOS on non-Apple hardware are technically challenging and legally questionable, highlighting the proprietary nature of Apple’s operating system.

Learn More:

Top 40 iPhone Hacks You Didn’t Know

How Does Screen Mirroring Work?

Top 11 Ways To Turn Off Screen Mirroring

Screen Mirroring isn’t working on my iPhone/iPad with iOS 15 or iOS 14