No, I didn’t get a better idea for my Blog Action Day 2011 post.
Remember iOS 1.1.x (or iPhone OS, as it was called)? Upgrading it took next to no time, the roughly 200MB file downloaded in no time.
Those of us who who used ZiPhone or a tiff exploit to jailbreak our primitive devices never worried about storing our IPSWs or finding out where they were.
OS corrupted? Installed a bad program or just want to start over?
Even if you were forced to redownload the IPSW, it didn’t take too long. Uploading the IPSW to the devices took next to no time. Five minutes to restore and reboot, at the most. I remember reinstalling a jailbroken version of iOS 1.1.3 a couple times per day if I messed it up by downloading something with unintended effects. It was simply faster nuke and send the firmware to the device than to solve a single problem.
Then came iOS 2.x with a slightly bigger baggage. ~250MB. This opened the world of the App Store. 5omb wasn’t much of a trade off considering it included the App Store and the January ’08 update for iPod Touches.
iOS 3.x came and passed without much of an increase in space. Major changes were in-app purchases and push notifications. The biggest parts of push notifications happened on Apple’s servers. Devices just received the notifs.
iOS 4.x landed with a staggering increase to ~570MB in IPSW size. It contained “multitasking” and the HUD.
The latest, iOS 5.0 entered the arena with ~800MB of improvements. Notification center, iMessage, and more were included.
Besides Siri, iOS 5 was more of a catchup and maintenance update to include competitors’ features and streamline existing ones.
I don’t know of any new features that Apple would implement, but Apple probably has more ideas in the hangars for the next few years. Even if they didn’t, engaging in a better specs race with competitors would continue to generate revenue.
Apple has upped the devices’ power from 620MHz ARM processors to 1GHz customized [ARM] A4 and A5’s. Memory has increased fourfold since the first release of the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Just in case you’re interested, OS X has seen an increase in size from a mere 800MB to 9GB. In 7 versions, the size is grown 11x.
Perhaps we’ll be downloading 1GB and greater firmware files to upgrade our devices with. Even with iOS 5’s built in update feature, a major update —say iOS 6 — will most likely require plugging the device into the computer.
If you want, you *could* relate this insight to width factors challenging affluent countries.