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2012 in review: The year in iOS

By Lex Friedman, Macworld
December 27, 2012 12:22 PM ET

Macworld - Every year since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 has been a big year for iOS, and 2012 is certainly no exception. Let's take a stroll down memory lane, recalling the year that was for the iPhone, the iPad, and the operating system that powers them both.

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January

Apple kicked off 2012 in party animal style at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, hosting an event focused on education. There, the company took the wraps off iBooks 2, noteworthy for its support for interactive textbooks, and the free iBooks Author app for creating them. Amazon responded by releasing another 97 Kindle models over the next three days.

Apple also unveiled a program designed to let businesses buy apps in bulk; "norms" like you and me still have to buy our Angry Birds one app at at time, however.

January also saw the annual Macworld | iWorld Conference and Expo--the trade show that goes through name changes the way Cher goes through costumes. Among the Best of Show winners we recognized at Macworld | iWorld 2012 were iOS-friendly products like Adonit's Jot Touch Bluetooth-enabled iPad stylus, Blue's Spark Digital USB mic for iPad and Mac, iStopMotion for iPad, the Game Your Video app, PDFpen for iPad, and the TourWrist app for panoramic photo exploration.

February

The month had 29 days this year, but if you thought that would translate into more iOS news than usual for the shortest month, you were wrong.

Still, though February wasn't full of iOS news, one significant kerfuffle occurred that month, in connection with overzealous address book access. Social networking app Path published a letter of apology after its app was discovered uploading the entire contents of its users' address books to its servers--unencrypted. Path wasn't the only app to help itself to such address book data, but it became the face of a type of business behavior that prompted a significant discussion of iOS security.

Apple announced in mid-February that a future iOS update would require apps to obtain users' permission before accessing their contacts. And with the eventual release of iOS 6, Apple was true to its word. Now Path and other apps that you use to share every intimate detail of your life with the Internet will access your contacts only after you tap to approve them.

Also in February, Apple previewed OS X Mountain Lion. Though it didn't qualify directly as iOS news, the Mac OS update borrowed heavily from iOS, bringing apps such as Notes, Reminders, and Game Center alongside iOS features like Notification Center, iMessage support, Twitter integration, and even AirPlay mirroring. And with the deeper iCloud integration that Apple promised in Mountain Lion, iOS and the Mac would get closer than ever.

March

March was a big month for iOS, starting withA another press event, wherein Apple unveiled the new iPad, whose hotly anticipated Retina display scored almost as much press attention as the lack of a "3" in its name.

Apple CEO Tim Cook would crow later in March that Apple hadA a record weekend of sales for the new iPad, selling more than 3 million of the crisp-screened tablets. We loved the third-generation iPad and its 3.1 million pixels. Especially sweet, sweet pixel number 2,732,019--such a good one.

Originally published on www.macworld.com. Click here to read the original story.

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