From Fake Leather to the Great Flattening: The Evolution of iOS

Happy Nerd Christmas! Apple CEO Tim Cook got you a new operating system for the iPhone and iPad. It looks different. It works differently. It has a host of new features and design elements–from full multitasking to the Pandora-like iTunes Radio. It organizes your pictures, has remarkable new AirDrop sharing features, automatically updates your apps, and overall lets you do just about everything more quickly and efficiently.

Cook noted that iOS powers 600 million devices, and has been ranked number one in customer satisfaction by JD Power nine times in a row. What those stats mean is that it’s actually quite hard for Apple to make changes. If nobody loved iOS, it would be easy to rip it up and start over again. But as it is, changes affect hundreds of millions of users, and Cook called this update “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.” This is hard stuff, and here’s what’s inside.