Read Me First: A Take Control Crash Course
by Tonya Engst

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What Is iOS?

iOS is the operating system that powers Apple’s iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch . The “i” is because each of these mobile devices’ names begins with “i,” and the “OS” stands for “operating system.” Because it is awkward to write “iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch” repeatedly, many writers call them “iOS devices” (or, even though it’s awkward, “iDevices”). It’s a shortcut that can leave uninformed readers in the dark, but you’ll adjust to it quickly.

① 	Where OS X has the Desktop, iOS has the Home screen.

① Where OS X has the Desktop, iOS has the Home screen.

iOS is written as an adjective in many contexts. For example, an Apple app called Mail is installed by default on both the Mac and all iOS devices. A writer might write, “iOS Mail” to refer specifically to the version of Mail that runs on an iOS device. For examples of this sort of writing in action, see the titles of the next two chapters!

Why the i? For more about the “i” at the beginning of so many Apple product names, read Why the “i” in iPhone?, at iPhone J.D.

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“Does the i in iOS stand for Internet, individual, instruct, inform, or inspire? Or perhaps it stands for inscrutable.”

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