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iOS is an operating system created by Apple Inc. for their products such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

iPhone OS 1-3

The first three versions of iOS when it was actually called iPhone OS released from 2007 to 2009. Despite the name, 3 did support the iPad.

iOS 4

The fourth version of iOS released in 2010 which started supporting features that are nowadays expected in an iOS such as FaceTime, multitasking, iBooks, organizing apps into folders, Personal Hotspot.

iOS 5

The fifth version of iOS released in 2011 which added features related to wirelessness.

iOS 6

The sixth version of iOS released in 2012 which introduced the shoddy Apple Maps and a Do Not Disturb function.

iOS 7

The seventh version of iOS released in 2013 which received some backlash for its small and thin font.

iOS 8

The eighth version of iOS released in 2014 which mainly added improvements to the iCloud platform.

iOS 9

The ninth version of iOS released in 2015 which added a Low-Power Mode.

iOS 10

The tenth version of iOS released in 2016 which allowed the deletion of built-in apps.

iOS 11

The eleventh version of iOS released in 2017 which focused on improving the experience for iPad users.

iOS 12

The twelfth version of iOS released in 2018 which focused on refining the experience.

iOS 13

The upcoming thirtheenth version of iOS.


Most iOS devices (at least after the second generation iPod touch) share several characteristics: the most important are the accelerometer/tilt sensor and the touch screen. Many games for the platform are designed to use the accelerometer as a primary control. For example, driving games such as Pole Position Remix often have the player tilt the entire unit in lieu of providing a steering wheel, and other games use it to control an object's movement around the screen, such as a marble in a maze. The touchscreen also makes games involving tracing pathways (similar to many Nintendo DS games) possible alongside old-school PDA tap-and-drag games. The system's API (Cocoa Touch) is similar, but not identical, to the Cocoa toolkit used on macOS X, and uses the same XCode environment as Mac developers use.

Apple traditionally has somewhat of a love-hate relationship with the gaming community, going back to the first Mac and Steve Jobs' insistence that it be treated as a serious business machine. Though the Mac game market flourished in spite of Apple's ambivalence, games like Marathon and Glider that should have been world-shaking... weren't. For years, Apple's half-assed Pippin console was their only real attempt to court the game market...until the second generation iPod Touch came out. At this point, Apple decided to start leveraging the accelerometers they'd built into late-model MacBooks, which people had subsequently hacked into game controllers. Apple gave the Touch, followed by the next generation of iPhone, similar accelerometers, and positioned the Touch explicitly as a gaming system. Unrestricted by the licensing and hardware barriers of the Nintendo DS and Playstation Portable, game developers (especially small ones) responded in droves, making an Apple platform a serious contender in the gaming world for the first time since the Apple ][ line wound down.


What role, if any, iOS gaming will play in the next generation of Console Wars is unclear. Whether casual gamers play iOS (or other smartphone games) exclusively or overlap with other, already identified groups — or if casual players transition to console games after becoming addicted via an iOS port or mini-game — is the major question of the smartphone gaming market. With the release of the third-generation iPad and improvements in graphics across the entire "i"-product line, some publishers have begun testing the market for "serious games" via the App Store (The World Ends with You being one prominent example). Apple now spotlights these releases, in a bit of historical irony, but whether or not i-gaming makes you a "gamer" is a question beyond the scope of TVTropes. Mobile technology is advancing at a rapid rate- to date, advanced graphics technology allows iOS games to sport almost current-gen console quality graphics (on newer iOS devices).


See also Android Games for the other major smartphone/tablet platform.

    open/close all folders 

    New Full Games 

    Retro Games 

    Games With Ports or Mini-Versions for iPhone 

Notable iOS Game Makers


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