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iPad Software Development – All you need to know

The iPad is the name given to a series of tablets created by Apple Inc. that have been wildly successful with the general populace all around the globe – be it the average consumer, the businessman, the educator, this multifaceted device of multifarious usage has been a hit from the moment it was released on April 3, 2010.


But what makes the iPad so good? After all, a netbook also offers a lot for around the same price. As renowned journalist Walter Mossberg wrote, “It’s about the software, stupid.” – referring to the fact that the iPad’s success would result from its software component and not its hardware design. Therein lay the secret to the iPad’s success – the iOS, an operating system that shares its development environment with the iPhone, iPad and iPod.


The iPad, similar to most of Apple’s products, has its own exclusive software designed and available for use in the Apple App Store, where the company makes its own software available for usage via download, along with software created by third parties who have bought the necessary license. This software also supports most of the applications available for the iPhone, thus making available a large range of apps that had been in use ever since the iPhone had been released in 2007. Thus, by ensuring the iPad had access to a wide variety of its own software and the majority of the iPhone’s, Apple ensured that it would not suffer from a lack of software support and availability.


The very first iPad was supported by iOS 4.2.1. However, for a brief time it was developed with a different version of the iPhone’s OS 3.2, which discontinued after Apple introduced the aforementioned OS. Apart from setting up the original interface for the device, the iOS also brought along the updates that had been made for the iPhone and iPod, such as the introduction of features like AirPlay and AirPrint, improved battery, etc. – essentially introducing it at the same stage the iPhone and iPod were at the time.


Also available for the iPad at the time were applications such as Safari, Mail, iTunes, iBooks, etc. The next software update for the first iPad was iOS 5 which introduced Apple’s cloud storage service conveniently named iCloud. It was also the last OS to support the first generation iPad devices, bringing a couple hundred new aspects, like Twitter being integrated and further synchronisation between Apple’s devices.


The iPad 2 was released in 2011 and received support from iOS 6, though it initially briefly was supported by iOS 4.3. Obviously, the device carried over all the functions served by the first generation iPad, along with the introduction of features like GarageBand, iMovie, etc. The iPad 2 has also been updated to be compatible with iOS 7 & 8, apart from support from iOS 5 as well, making it the only device to be supported by five major versions of the Apple OS (namely iOS 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8).


The third generation iPad had support from iOS 5.1, subsequently iOS 6, 7 and 8. The current generation iPad was initially shipped with iOS 6.1 but is also supported by iOS 7 and 8. The development of the iPad and the iOS has come a long way since their respective unveilings, with the current version of iPad software possessing greater integration with Facebook, Twitter and other Apple devices, more powerful software components like an optional iBooks application, the virtual assistant Siri, among many other things.