Before iOS 8 hits, a brief retrospective

With WWDC 14 beginning just about now, the internet’s abuzz with speculation about what new features – or overhauls – iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 will boast in the coming months.

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Since its release in 2007, the iPhone has revolutionized the smartphone industry, popularizing the touchscreen as an elegant method of interface and consolidating a staggering array of utilities into one sleek, handheld device.

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Jobs’ decision – early in the game, with iOS 2.0 – to open app development to the community-at-large has yielded wild growth in every sense: in the number of apps developed, the number of app sales, the number of companies developing them.

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Versions 3.0 and 4.0 rolled out a host of functional innovations, with 4.0 alone introducing “over 100 new features,” as Jobs boasted at the unveiling.  4.0 also foregrounded a refined, streamlined interface, one much closer to the iOS 7’s platform.

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iOS 5 introduced life in the cloud and everyone’s favorite personal assistant, Siri.

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With iOS 7, not only were there another 200 new features (in addition to 6’s additional 200), but 7 also represented the most significant visual departure the iPhone had seen yet (read more about skeumorphism, and the role it played in iOS’s development, here) – that is, its radically new, translucent design brought the platform into an edgier, streamlined, 21st century aesthetic.

What changes does Tim Cook have in store for iOS 8?  Check out what’s going down live at WWDC 14 here.

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