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Apple’s iOS operating system has come a long way since it first released in 2007. Over the years, every new version has introduced groundbreaking features and improvements. From the introduction of the App Store in iPhone OS 2 to the addition of 5G connectivity in iOS 14, the history of iOS is packed with some remarkable stories. 

In this editorial, we will take a trip down memory lane and explore Apple’s iOS versions, from the first-ever iPhone OS to the latest iOS 17. We will delve into the key features and improvements that each version brought to the table, highlighting the significant milestones in the evolution of the iOS operating system.

iOS 17

iOS 17 is announced on June WWDC 2023. The focus of iOS 17 was redesigning and upgrading the system apps and features. The Message, FaceTime, and Phone apps got several enhancements. Besides, Apple worked on connectivity by introducing NameDrop and FaceTime on Apple TV.

The most highlighted features of iOS 17:

Personalized Contact Posters 

Live Voicemail 

Video voicemail and Reactions on FaceTime 

Search Filter, Catch up arrow, Swipe to reply, Transcription of voice messages, Check-in features in Messages app

Live Stickers 

StandBy feature 

Share contact card using NameDrop 

Journal app

Mindfulness feature on Health app

Create Profiles on Safari 

Collaborated playlist on CarPlay

Upgraded Autocorrect and Dictation abilities 

iOS 16 – September 12, 2023

iOS 16 was announced at the WWDC event in June 2023 and released in September 2023.

The most noticeable upgrade in iOS 16 was the supported features for Dynamic Island for iPhone 14 Pro models. It made the new notch design more fun by displaying animated notifications and offering controls around the camera. 

Also, Crash Detection, Always On display, Emergency SOS via Satellite, etc., are exclusive features of the iPhone 14 series supported with iOS 16. 

Key features of iOS 16:

Customizable Lock Screen

Live Activities

Better Focus Filters

New Message features

Redesigned Apple Maps

Apple Pay Later

Apple Order Tracking

iCloud Shared Photo Library

Live Texts on videos


Safety Check function

Improvements to Spatial Audio

Voice Isolation in phone calls

Advanced Data Protection for iCloud

Apple Music Sing karaoke

iOS 15 – September 24, 2023

Unlike iOS 16, the iOS 15 update was more focused on software bug fixes, system improvements, and polishing features of built-in apps.

Additionally, the pandemic era influenced the feature upgrades. Apple worked on increasing security and privacy, preventing ad tracking, and improving Siri, Camera, FaceTime, Messages, etc. 

As of writing, iOS 15 is supported on iPhone 6S series and later and the iPod touch 7 Gen.  

Key features of iOS 15:

New FaceTime features – Spatial audio, SharePlay, FaceTime Link, Mic modes, Portrait modes, etc.

iMessage Share with you 

Better Focus Filters with Notification Summary, Signal your status, etc.

Live Text and Memory features in the Photos app

Advanced Spotlight search

App Privacy Report

Mail Privacy Protection

On-device Siri

Digital Legacy program

Redesigned Safari tabs

Detailed Maps  

Improved Health and Wallet app

iOS 14 – September 17, 2023

iOS 14 version lists similar system improvements very much like iOS 15. There were no significant changes. Apple added a few enhancements like privacy controls, Home Screen widgets, customization options, etc. 

Key features of iOS 14:

Widgets on the Home Screen

App Library

Improved call notifications

Picture in Picture Mode

Redesigned Siri 

Translation, Password monitoring, and Website Privacy Report in Safari

Pinned Conversations and improved group texting in Messages

New Memoji Styles and Stickers

Cycling directions and Electric vehicle routing in Maps

Translate app

App Clips

iOS 13 – September 19, 2023

Before iOS 13, iPad also ran iOS. But Apple took a big step by introducing a new iPadOS to make the iPad more productive and a possible laptop replacement. Since then, iOS and iPad OS have always been rolled out simultaneously.

The most visible new feature was the Dark Mode. Additionally, iOS 13 improved essential functions, like a faster app start, Face ID, Portrait Lightning, redesigned pre-installed apps, etc.

Key features of iOS 13: 

System-wide Dark Mode

30% faster Face ID unlocking

Revamped Apple Maps

Smarter HomeKit

Sign In With Apple user account

New privacy and security options

Portrait Lighting effects

New, improved Siri voice

Overhauled system apps like Photos, Mail, Reminders, and Notes

iOS 12 – September 17, 2023

The 12th iteration of the iPhone software had just a few new additions. Primarily, it improved regularly used functionality for providing a better user experience. Apple introduced Siri Shortcuts, ARKit 2, Screen Time tracking, etc.

Key features of iOS 12:

Grouped Notifications

Screen Time

ARKit 2 for enhanced Augmented Reality

Siri improvements


iOS 11 – September 19, 2023

iOS 11 got special features to support the iPod touch, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.

Therefore, its primary features included more iPad-specific features like split-screen apps, drag-and-drop functionality, a file browser app, and support for Apple Pencil handwriting, etc. 

Key features of iOS 11:

iPad functions

AirPlay 2 

Support for Augmented Reality

iOS 10 – September 13, 2023

The release of iOS 10 was a watershed moment for the Apple ecosystem. It offered several APIs to integrate third-party solutions into the system apps. Thus, iPhone got a boost of interoperability and customization in its UI and applications. Also, Siri became more accessible to third-party apps. The best part was Apple allowed users to uninstall built-in apps.

Key features of iOS 10:

Embedded ​iMessage apps

Delete built-in apps

Split Control Center into multiple panels

Integration of Siri with third-party apps

Smarter QuickType keyboard

3D touch displayed widgets 

iOS 9 – September 16, 2023

iOS 9 prioritized building a solid base for the operating system to improve the speed, responsiveness, stability, and performance of older devices. After significant modifications to iOS’s design and technological base, users started to feel that iOS was no longer the reliable, trustworthy, and competent it previously was. 

So, Apple decided to work on strengthening the OS’s basis rather than introducing new features, laying the framework for the larger enhancements in the next iOS updates. To get a public reaction and acceptance, iOS got the Public Beta feature. So, before the actual release of the upcoming iOS version update, people can get a taste of it.

Key features of iOS 9:

iOS 8 – September 17, 2014

In iOS history, iOS 8 was a significant update as it introduced the contactless payment system named Apple Pay and the Apple Music subscription service. Also, it polished the iCloud features for more reliable and consistent performance. The most useful feature unveiled was the Handoff feature to seamlessly switch between Apple devices.

Apple walked in for a Dropbox-like iCloud Drive with the addition of iCloud Picture Library, and iCloud Music Library. To save subscription costs, Apple offered Family Sharing to enjoy content individually with a single subscription. Moreover, the HealthKit and HomeKit features focused on users’ daily living.

Key features of iOS 8:

Apple Music

Apple Pay

iCloud Drive


Family Sharing

Spotlight Suggestions

QuickType in keyboard

HomeKit and HealthKit

Extensibility framework for third-party extensions

iOS 7 – September 18, 2013

iOS 7 was a troublesome update, and users were dissatisfied as things didn’t operate as expected. It included a significant redesign of the user interface in the update and opted for a flat look. But some users found it difficult to read because of the tiny, thin letters, and others experienced motion sickness because of the constant animations. 

Besides, Apple provided quick access to the most used features with Control Center and launched AirDrop, Activation Lock, and CarPlay. Additionally, Siri got new voices and a redesigned look.

Key features of iOS 8:

Activation Lock



Control Center

Thumbnails in App Switcher

Improved Notification Center

Smarter Siri

Touch ID

iOS 6 – September 19, 2012

In the history of iOS versions, iOS version 6 saw the most controversies because of Apple’s escalating rivalry with Google. Although the newly launched Siri was a real breakthrough technology, issues with it resulted in significant revisions.

Besides, from iPhone OS version 1.0, Google has included the Maps and YouTube applications pre-installed. But this time Apple replaced Google Maps with a new Apple Maps. But it was not up to the mark because of glitches, inaccurate instructions, and issues with other functionalities. 

Sidelining the flaws, iOS 6 got a Podcast app, more capable Siri, a Panoramic mode in Camera, and access to make FaceTime calls over cellular data.

Key features of iOS 6:

Apple Maps

Do Not Disturb

Passbook (now Wallet)

New features in Siri like launching apps

Panoramic photos

FaceTime over cellular data

iOS 5 – October 12, 2011

iOS 5 was a turning point for Apple as it introduced crucial new features like Siri, iCloud, wireless iPhone activation, and Wi-Fi iTunes syncing. Users could download and install software updates on their iPhones without a computer. Besides, for better user experience and accessibility, iPhone got Notification Center and iMessage.

Key features of iOS 5:




Notification Center

Redesigned Reminders and Newsstand apps

Wireless syncing and activation

iOS 4 – June 22, 2010

With iOS 4, the futuristic iOS started to take form as Apple tagged the “iPhone OS” as “iOS” for the first time. Many revisions to this version included features like FaceTime, multitasking, iBooks, Game Center, arranging programs into folders, custom wallpapers, Personal Hotspot, AirPlay, and AirPrint.

Moreover, Apple included Bing as a search engine for Safari and allowed users to merge multiple email accounts in one inbox. It was the first iteration of iOS to stop supporting all iOS devices. It was incompatible with the first-generation iPod touch or the iPhone.

Key features of iOS 4:






Game Center

Personal Hotspot

System-wide spell checking

5x digital zoom

iPhone OS 3 (iOS 3) – June 17, 2009

iOS 3 was the first operating system for the iPad and came out of the box with the iPhone 3GS without any charge. Users were able to copy and paste text system-wide. Besides, Spotlight search, MMS support in the Messages app, and the capability to shoot films using the Camera app are just a few of the new features it included.

Key features of iOS 3;

Copy and paste​

Spotlight​ search​

Voice Memo app

Recording videos

iPhone OS 2 (iOS 2) – July 11, 2008

iPhone OS 2 was meant for iPhone 3G model, which included support for the 3G network. As iPhone became a big hit, app developers tried to jailbreak iPhone to install third-party apps. So, Apple introduced development tools like APIs and SDKs for software companies to launch apps in App Store to prevent installing apps from the web.

During its debut, the App Store had around 500 applications. Besides, Podcast support, walking, and public transportation instructions in Maps, iTunes Genuine playlist, and enhancements to Mail, Calculator, and Contacts using Microsoft Exchange support were other significant additions to iPhone OS 2.

Key features of iOS 2:

App Store​

Developer APIs and SDKs

Support for Microsoft ActiveSync and Microsoft Exchange

Improved Maps app​

iPhone OS 1 (iOS 1) – June 29, 2007

But it lacked support for actual third-party applications and came with basic pre-installed apps like Calendar, Pictures, Camera, Notes, Mail, and Phone.

Key features of iOS 1:

Visual Voicemail​

Multitouch interface









Music (iPod Touch)








Videos (iPod Touch)



What to expect from iOS 17?

The new update, which is set to be rolled out at WWDC 2023 on June 5, may get features like call recording, Lock Screen widgets, Split Screen, dual apps, third-party App Store, etc. To find out more, go through our article on iOS 17 rumors and expectations.

Long live iOS!

Apple’s iOS has evolved significantly over the years, from its humble beginnings in iPhone OS 1 to the latest iOS 16. With each new version, Apple has introduced innovative features and improvements that have transformed the way we use our iPhones and has continuously pushed the boundaries of what is possible in mobile technology.

Explore more…

Author Profile


Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.

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A Brief History And Guide To Linux’s Touch Experience

The Linux community has been divided in recent years over how desktop environments should be used and designed. The open source community, sometimes accused of merely imitating proprietary operating systems rather than innovating, released several new user interfaces that were geared towards touch screens years before the recent touch-oriented release of Windows 8. These interfaces have met with mixed reactions as they were geared towards hardware that, frankly, most users simply did not have access to. There are many Linux touch-oriented desktop environments, but where is the hardware?

A Brief History

Ubuntu currently ships with the Unity shell by default, a relatively touch-friendly interface first introduced for netbooks in 2010. It became Ubuntu’s default environment starting with version 11.04. Its most distinctive characteristics are the large icons situated along a launcher docked to the left side of the screen and a dash that serves to as the primary means of launching undocked apps and files.

By the time Unity appeared on computers, the GNOME Project had already detailed plans for the upcoming GNOME 3, which eventually debuted in 2011. It removed its traditional taskbar along with “minimize” and “maximize” buttons. In their place came a new way of managing windows oriented around creating and switching between virtual workspaces. When the Linux Action Show reviewed GNOME 3, its hosts argued that it would offer a better experience on a tablet than either Android or iOS, but it was a flawed desktop environment.

Since most users did not have access to compatible hardware with touchscreens, they reviewed both desktop environments purely on their usability with keyboards and mice. The result was a large swath of users who felt that they were being left behind.

The Problem

At the time GNOME 3 and Unity first debuted, the most common devices with touchscreens were smartphones and tablets. Smartphones, given the degree of control carriers exercise over them, are generally notoriously locked down affairs. While neither GNOME 3 nor Unity targeted smartphones, there were and are open source projects such as Plasma Active, Meego, and Ubuntu Touch that users would be able to install were smartphones as open and standardized as PCs. Instead, smartphones ship with locked down bootloaders that have to be cracked, jailbroken, or rooted before users can boot anything other than a phone’s default set of software.

Tablets are essentially large smartphones with their cell radios stripped out. They run the same operating system on the same hardware as their smaller, more agile siblings. Even though most are not distributed by carriers, their bootloaders are just as locked down. Our guide to installing Ubuntu on an Asus Transformer shows just how much work goes into installing Ubuntu onto one of these tablets. And since each tablet ships with different bootloaders and hardware, there aren’t enough skilled hackers available and interested to get Linux onto all of the hardware currently available.

What’s A User To Do?

Long before the iPad took the world by storm, Windows tablets had made their way into the homes of a niche selection of users. These tablets were generally laptops with screens that could spin around and lie flat on top of the bottom half of the device. This hardware was typically pricey, but installing Linux on it was roughly the same experience as installing Linux on any other PC.

The Lenovo S10-3t is by no means a powerful device by today’s standards, but it can run Linux handedly and gives users the opportunity to live in Unity or GNOME 3 using a touch display. In addition to the Lenovo Ideapad series, Asus has also produced convertible EeePCs capable of running Linux. Both ship with Windows 7 by default.

While Windows 8’s secure boot makes it harder to install Linux on some new laptops than before, it’s not impossible. There’s also the Chromebook Pixel running Google’s Chrome OS that, despite its small SSD drive, supports running Linux just fine.

Final Thoughts

There are many Linux desktop environments that would be killer on a smartphone or tablet, but for years there have been very few pieces of hardware that could run them. That has changed, and touch displays are steadily becoming more available than ever. If you are running a Linux distribution on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, share with us your hardware and experience below.

Image credit: Tablet use 2

Bertel King, Jr.

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How To Secure Your Iphone (17 Tips)

Your iPhone has a ton of sensitive and private information. This includes your photos, videos, audio notes, bank apps, notes, passwords, contacts, and more. Therefore to ensure your valuable data isn’t misused, stolen, or hacked, you must take measures to keep your iPhone secure.

In this guide, we give you 17 tips that will help you further strengthen your iPhone and keep its data safe.

1. Add a strong alphanumeric passcode

You should never keep your iPhone without a passcode. And even the passcode you set should be long and difficult to guess. This will make it almost impossible for anyone else to guess your passcode, even if they happen to get physical access to your device.

2. Add additional app-specific passwords

Many chat apps, bank apps, payment apps, notes apps, etc., offer an extra option to add a password lock. Dig inside the respective app setting and enable that. If an app doesn’t have one, you can contact its app developer and request such a feature.

3. Don’t let apps unlock with Face ID or Touch ID on shared iPhone

Have you added a second Face ID or Touch ID of other people on your iPhone? If yes, they can get inside your iPhone and your apps that are unlocked by biometrics. To address this, set up your concerned third-party app to open via passcode and not Face ID or Touch ID.

Alternatively, you can also remove extra unnecessary fingerprints or face from Face ID.

4. Remove fingerprints and Face ID of other people

You can add up to five fingerprints to iPhone’s Touch ID and two faces to Face ID.

When you got your iPhone, you might have excitedly added fingerprints of multiple family members or set up a second face to Face ID.

Tip: When you’re on the Touch ID screen and place your finger on the Touch ID button, it will highlight the added fingerprint corresponding to that finger.

5. Make sure Find My iPhone is enabled

Find My service lets you know the location of your iPhone, lock it, display a message on the Lock Screen, play a sound, and erase the device in case it’s misplaced.

6. Remove unknown and unnecessary configuration profiles

If you aren’t using the beta version of iOS or your iPhone isn’t given to you by your organization/school or not managed by them for special settings, apps, etc., then ideally, there should be no configuration profiles on your device.

7. Set a shorter auto-lock duration

8. Use two-factor authentication for all supported services

Two-factor authentication acts as an extra wall of protection. Almost every major service, from email, and social media, to banks, support this. Dig inside the privacy and security settings of the concerned service to find the two-factor authentication option.

Related tutorials:

9. Prevent sensitive information from appearing on the Lock Screen

10. Control app notifications on the Lock Screen

If you have some sensitive apps, you can prevent their notification from showing on the Lock Screen. This will ensure that any onlooker can’t see a preview of these notifications.

11. Review app location access

Some apps like Uber must have access to your location to function. However, several apps request your location but can work perfectly fine even if their location privileges are withdrawn.

12. Double-check other privacy settings

App developers regularly publish updates to fix bugs and add new features. The newest version of an app is generally better with security patches and improvements.

14. Install the latest version of iOS

15. Prevent your iPhone from auto-joining Wi-Fi and hotspots

You can stop your iPhone from auto-joining open Wi-Fi networks and hotspots as these can be easily exploited (and are deployed publicly in many cases) to steal your data.

Besides that, you can tap (i) next to a previously joined network and turn off Auto-Join or tap Forget This Network if you don’t plan on using this Wi-Fi network in the near future.

16. Don’t unnecessarily use free VPN

Free VPNs have to find a way to make money, and most of the time, it’s with your data. If you must use a VPN, it’s better to research and get the paid version of a reputable VPN. And if you don’t want to do that, make sure you use free VPNs sparingly.

17. Don’t download just about any app, and do your research first

App Store is well regulated, and Apple has checks and balances in place. Still, there have been ample cases of imposter or insecure apps making their way to the iOS App Store. Therefore, when you wish to download an app for a particular task, do your due diligence and get apps that have seen regular updates, have good ratings & reviews, etc.

Must see:

And even when you open an app, don’t go about tapping “Allow” on every popup it presents. Read the alert and allow the app to access your location, contacts, microphone, etc., only if you think necessary.

Check out next:

Apple: Iphone 4 Antenna Troubles Tied To Software

Apple has officially responded to nagging iPhone 4 antenna issues in an open letter released Friday blaming the problem on faults in the phone’s software and how signal strength is calculated. Apple says it will offer a free software update to iPhone 4 owners within weeks to correct the problem. Apple says the signal problem stems from a software problem, not a defect in the hardware, that incorrectly displays four to five bars of signal strength when it should only display two, in some cases.

In the open letter Apple also says the iPhone 4 launch was the most succesful in the company’s history and boasted the phone has been regarded by reviewers as the “best smartphone ever.”

Updates to this post to follow shortly.

What follows is Apple’s open letter. It can also be read here.

Apple Open Letter

The iPhone 4 has been the most successful product launch in Apple’s history. It has been judged by reviewers around the world to be the best smartphone ever, and users have told us that they love it. So we were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them. Here is what we have learned.

At the same time, we continue to read articles and receive hundreds of emails from users saying that iPhone 4 reception is better than the iPhone 3GS. They are delighted. This matches our own experience and testing. What can explain all of this?

Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.

To fix this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.

We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.

As a reminder, if you are not fully satisfied, you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

We hope you love the iPhone 4 as much as we do.

Thank you for your patience and support.

The Thorny History Of Barbed Wire

This post has been updated. It was originally published on April 11, 2023.

There are more than 700 steel knots in The “Bobbed Wire” Bible, Jack Glover’s “illustrated guide to identification and classification” of barbed wire. They have names like Scutt’s Wooden Block, Greenbriar, Glidden Union Pacific, and the J. Brotherton Parallel. Scrupulously updated and republished by Cow Puddle Press starting in the 1960s, the bible—like the rest of barbed wire’s history—is one-part Americana and one-part innovation. Glover’s book and similar materially-specific compendiums (the Barbed Wire: Identification Encyclopedia comes to mind) document the minutiae of fencing materials and techniques. But these texts are also treasure chests of historical and cultural insight; behind each illustration is an inventor, a time, place, and origin story.

Because that’s the thing about barbed wire: It’s a physical object—you could hold it in your hand if it wasn’t so sharp—but it’s also an idea.

The use of barbed wire in the West

The American frontier was never actually empty. Native Americans have lived on the land for at least 15,000 years. The evidence is clear, from the Mesa Verde Dwellings in Colorado to the millions of indigenous people still living in the southwest today. But white settlers, unleashed on the landscape by Abraham Lincoln’s Homestead of Act of 1862, which gave each citizen the right to claim 160 acres of public land, certainly treated it that way. As they worked their way west, they sought to clear the land of its human and non-human inhabitants, and exert control over the dirt that remained. One of the most practical challenges these families faced was drawing boundaries—keeping people, crops, and cattle in (or out).

With too few trees to build wooden fences, and walls of prickly vegetation too slow to grow, some enterprising settlers began tinkering with wire. But there was one major problem: “[W]hen a wire fence was placed between a 1,000-pound Texas longhorn and a patch of lush green pasture, it proved to be something of a pushover,” writes George Pendel in his Atlas Obscura article on the barbed wire mecca of La Crosse, Kansas. That’s where the barbs came in. According to Atlas, the U.S. Patent Office processed more than 200 different patents for various types of “spiked fencing” between 1867 and 1874. The contraptions varied widely, from lines alternating spikes and wooden boards, to sheets of wood studded with spikes. But Lucien Smith is credited with making the first barbed wire prototypes, which he called “thorny wire.”

Barbed wire production took off in the early 1900s once machines allowed it to be made at scale. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

That answers the questions of who invented barbed wire and when was barbed wire invented. The trouble was that all of these products were made by hand. It wasn’t until 1874, when Illinois farmer Joseph Glidden emerged victorious from patent battle over a mechanically-produced fencing material that barbed wire could be made at scale. Glidden’s machine pulled two strands of wire tight around the barb, then wound the wires together around the regularly-spaced spikes. Just two years later, Glidden’s company was making 3 million pounds of the stuff each year, making Glidden a quick and sizable fortune. Other speculators won big on barbed wire, too. John Warne Gates, better known as “Bet-A-Million Gates,” went from selling the poky product to manufacturing “moonshine” (or unpatented) wire himself. His company was acquired by U.S. Steel, where barbed wire would make robber baron J.P. Morgan even richer.

Mass-production sent homesteaders on a fencing spree. Previously, the design podcast 99 Percent Invisible explains, the “law of open range” prevailed out west. As cowboys drove their cattle to sale, the herd could crisscross the land, drinking water and grazing as they went. But barbed wire restricted cattle’s access to streams and rivers. And it was everywhere. By 1885, the entire Texas panhandle was already fenced, according to the Texas State Historical Association, creating a patchwork of privately-owned lands, each wrapped in a barbed wire bow. The effect on wildlife was quick and catastrophic: In a review article for the The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Wayne Gard described “leathery longhorns … crazed by thirst.” Native Americans called barbed wire “devil’s rope”, because it ensnared wild buffalo. (Like cattle, they struggled to see the thin wire lines before they were wrapped up in it.) Trapped, they died of hunger or thirst, or succumbed from infection as their barbed wounds festered.

[Related: A new mapping method could help humans and wildlife coexist]

Humans weren’t exempt from barbed wire’s wrath. From the earliest days, it’s been marketed as a tool of oppression and control. “Companies promoting barbed wire fencing used imagery in their promotional materials that played on familiar prejudices of the day,” Rebecca Onion writes in her political history of barbed wire for Slate. “[F]armers and ranchers interested in buying knew that they could keep Native Americans, black people, children, beasts owned by others, and poor people out with the new invention.” It persists in prisons, concentration camps both historical and terribly contemporary, and border walls, which continue to threaten wildlife today).

The making and significance of barbed wire today

Barbed wire’s biggest use hasn’t changed, though. Charlie Rugh is the vice president of sales and marketing for the San Antonio Steel Company. “The primary goal was to fence in cattle,” he says, but “it’s a lot more diverse now.” Specifically, people aren’t just fencing in cows, but horses, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and even exotic animals like bison, elk, or deer. This has forced a big shift over the last 50 to 75 years, Rugh says, stimulating new innovations in an old industry.

SASCO, for example, sells fixed knot fences, which is barb-free but strong enough to hold up on widely-spaced posts; horse fence with tight 2-by-4 inch spacing to keep hooves from getting stuck; and, of course, five variations of classic barbed wire, which remains crucial, in Rugh’s words, for “keeping 1,500 pound animals off the highways and byways and motorways.”

These wires are more durable than ever, thanks to two big developments. First, in the 1980s, manufacturers began developing high-tensile barbed wire, Rugh says. They mix steel with a miniscule amount of carbon fiber for more flexibility, without compromising strength. By exposing polymers to high heat, scientists can forcibly crystallize carbon molecules, concentrating them at unusual densities, while keeping substances light.“You’re getting a wire that weighs half as much, but performs the same if not better,” Rugh says. And because it’s lighter, it’s also cheaper, making it more appealing to farmers who struggle to keep their agricultural operations profitable.

Wire rods were used for the production of spiked fencing. Photo: Department of Transportation National Archives and Records Administration

Then, in the early 2000s, Rugh says, the industry turned its focus to new methods for galvanizing the steel, the better to ward off rust. The best barbed wire is now coated in a mixture that’s 95 percent aluminium and 5 percent zinc. “That’s been used in utility wires, stranded cable, and things like that. And they’ve begun to transfer that to ag wire,” Rugh says. While conventional Class I barbed wire lasts seven to 10 years and the Class III galvanized products on the market can keep up to 20 or 30 years, the zinc/aluminum-coated cables could last on the order of 50 years, at least according to salt spray tests designed to see how these products stand up to the elements.

Despite its evolution in the American west, the biggest innovations in barbed wire are coming from other shores. “A lot of the fencing technology and improvements have always developed in Australia and in New Zealand,” Rugh says. “The North American market has lagged behind and been slower to adopt these new technologies.”

[Related: Travel through time on history’s most ridiculous rides]

But barbed wire’s cultural resonance has persisted in the US. There are barbed wire museums, competitions, even an Antique Barbed Wire Society. Mostly, though, it provides structural support to the myth of the wild West: an endless expanse for the taking, a dangerous template for conquest that’s been transposed from California to other countries, the internet, and even outer space.

In his 1949 post-war poem Memorial for the City, W.H. Auden used barbed wire as a recurrent motif—a symbol for borders, bureaucracy, and violence. “Barbed wire proclaims that you are kept out or kept in, and, when you resist, it rips you,” he wrote. “Other barriers weather, crumble, grow moss; wire merely rusts, and keeps its sting.” For many people, that’s the appeal.

How To Translate Text Using Iphone Camera On Ios 16

iOS 16 brings in a ton of improvements for iPhones with new features added to the Lock Screen, Messages, Apple Mail, Focus, Fitness, and other apps. Another little addition to Apple’s mobile OS is the Translate camera feature that gives users the ability to get translations from your camera or any picture you have saved in your iPhone’s library. 

In this post, we’ll explain what this Translate camera feature is all about and how you can use it on the Translate app on iOS 16. 

What is the translation feature in the camera app on iOS 16?

With iOS 16, Apple’s Translate app provides a new feature that lets you translate text from one language to another by pointing your iPhone’s camera at the text. You can use the app’s inbuilt camera to capture a picture and iOS will use the on-device machine learning to detect the text portion from the image and translate it to your preferred language. 

Once the text-rich picture is scanned, you can tap on the translated words to learn how it’s pronounced in both languages. From there, you can copy the translation and paste it elsewhere or add the translation to your Favorites list to access it later. You also get the option to share the translated image with others. 

Translate’s camera translation feature can be beneficial when reading road signs, texts from books, maps, buildings, etc. The app will also work offline as long as you’ve downloaded the languages you want to convert texts between. 

What languages are supported for translation?

When using the in-app camera, the Translate app lets you get translations done between any two of the following languages:

English (US)

English (UK)





Chinese (Mandarin – China Mainland)

Chinese (Mandarin – Taiwan)






You can translate text between any of the two languages listed above and change the language you can translate to at any time. 

How to translate text using your iPhone camera

To translate a text from your iPhone’s camera on iOS 16, open the Translate app. 

When the app launches, tap on the Camera tab at the bottom. 

You should see the camera viewfinder appear on the next screen. At the top, you will need to configure which languages you’re translating the texts between. If you know which language you’re about to scan, tap on the language box at the top left corner. 

In the overflow menu that appears, select the original language of the text you’re about to scan. 

Similarly, tap on the language box at the top right corner and select the language you want to translate the original text into. 

Now, point the viewfinder to the text you want to translate. It can be anything from a road sign, location name, book, or anything with a text. Make sure all the text you wish to scan is visible inside the viewfinder. Once properly positioned, tap on the Circle button below the viewfinder.

If you want to translate texts from a picture saved in your iPhone library, tap on the image icon at the bottom left corner. 

If iOS is able to detect the language from the picture you captured, its translation will show up as an overlay where the original text was visible. 

You can tap on any of the translated texts to get additional options. 

In the overflow menu, you’ll see the original and translated texts along with their respective languages.

You can tap on the play icon to hear both of their pronunciations. 

To copy the translation to your clipboard, tap on Copy Translation. 

If you wish to add the translation to your Favorites inside the Translate app, tap on Add to Favorites.

You can also share a copy of the translated image with others by tapping on the Share icon.

To scan a new text, you can tap on the ‘x’ icon at the bottom which will remove the previously scanned image from the viewfinder to display what’s in front of your camera.  

That’s all you need to know about translating text using your iPhone camera on iOS 16. 

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