Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022, 16:40 iOS: Software

iOS 16: Many New Features Require iPhone XR, XS, Or Newer

Although iOS 14 and 15 were installable for all users for whom iOS 13 was, many predicted before this year's WWDC 2022 that Apple would be abandoning support for some older models with the next major release. Following the event, users of the iPhone 7 were regrettably forced to accept that their devices would no longer be eligible for any future software updates. That being said, there are still a number of exciting features coming with iOS 16 which will not be available on older devices still eligible for the update.

iOS 16: iPhone 8 & X Users Come Out Empty-handed
Users of older devices still supported often end up disillusioned after downloading the beta for iOS 16: many of the more interesting functions coming with the new update are not compatible with either the iPhone 8 or X. Apple details which features are and are not usable on older devices on an overview page for iOS 16 with various footnotes – which are very vague. The company frequently words this lack of support for older devices in manners such as "Available on iPhone with A12 Bionic and later" whilst seemingly intentionally failing to mention that this would not include certain older devices which technically allow for the update but are not compatible with certain individual features.

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Unexplained Lack Of Support For Non-Resource Intensive Functions
The A12 first debuted in the iPhone XR and XS, meaning that the iPhone 8 and X would not support these features. Users will need either an iPhone XR, XS, or newer to take advantage of certain key new possibilities in iOS 16 – such as sending an object, person, or animal in the forefront of a photo per finger tap via iMessage or transferring a cropping of said entity to another app. Even improvements such as the new "Live Text" function and the dictation of emojis by Siri are restricted to devices carrying an A12 or newer. Additionally, Siri will answer questions about new functions for apps on iOS 16 – however, not on an iPhone 8 or X.

Other Small Features For The A12 – "Live Captions" Requires At Least An iPhone 11
Information about medications will soon be much easier to receive in the US, thanks to a new iOS feature that will summarize information packets that come with prescription medications after a quick scan with the camera. However, yet again, only on an iPhone XR, XS, or newer. This same restriction also applies to wireless change between speech command and touch-based device operation. Any hoping to take advantage of the new Spotlight function to search images, messages, files, or notes for specific content, use the astronomy wallpaper, or to take advantage of the new possibilities provided by the "Visual Look Up" feature will also require an A12 device or newer. The hearing impaired or deaf will also receive a massive boon with iOS 16 in the form of "Live Captions", a new feature which generates subtitles in real time. Unfortunately, at least an iPhone 11 is required to utilize the function.

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