I believe that at some moment iPhone and iOS tags were synonimized.

And later on I believe there were broken down: Break the [ios] -> [iphone] synonym

However, I think they should be synonyms.

Yes. In the ideal world, where everybody put correct tags on the question, people should use iOS to ask generic question about development for iOS and iPhone to ask some questions particular to iPhone (as example UI design questions).

However, reality is that people use randomly (and interchangeably) ios and iphone tag. And taking number of questions (120k and 46k) there is no reasonably way to separate them out.

Should these several tags become synonyms again?

  • This is a difficult question. What if I have a question that is specific to iPhone hardware? Maybe we make an iphone-hardware tag separate from ios regarding hardware. But at what point does that become a meta-tag? – Richard J. Ross III Feb 14 '13 at 2:40
  • 1
    I stand by my arguments from that question: meta.stackexchange.com/a/85242/135615 , even though some time has passed. [ios] has now become the default, with [iphone] usage falling off. I just retag anything I see with [iphone] that lacks the [ios] tag as well. – Brad Larson Feb 14 '13 at 2:57

I'd say that the tags and should be kept separately. There are various things that differ in iOS between the product series.

As Caleb stated in his question Break the [ios] -> [iphone] synonym:

There's value in distinguishing between the iPhone and iOS. It's not uncommon to create iOS-based applications that won't run on iPhone devices, and because iPhones have a particular set of capabilities there are software development issues related specifically to that device. Examples of such issues include accessing call history, placing telephone calls, and supporting the "Retina" display.

Though the last part should be obsolete by now as the iPad got the Retina display too the rest is still valid. And there are also differences in web-development and Safari. An example is the HTML5 video playback: Can I avoid the native fullscreen video player with HTML5 on iPhone or android?. It is correctly an iPhone specific question, as it is not an issue in Safari on an iPad.

So it can be helpful to tag questions regarding the device itself on not only by its OS.

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