On the software side, Apple is an exemplary company when it comes to the lifespan of its smartphones. Indeed, it allows the same iPhone to be used for several years, while continuing to receive updates that guarantee protection against online threats.
For example, last year, Apple again updated to iOS 15 the iPhone 6S, which was a model released in 2015. And this year, this one will update to iOS 16 the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, which are models released in 2017.
In other words, you can continue to use these devices safely, while enjoying some new features of the operating system. But unfortunately, probably due to hardware constraints, some new features of iOS 16 will only be available on newer iPhones.
When Apple rolls out iOS 16 this fall, features will be reserved for models using the A12 Bionic chip or newer, for example.
Here is the list of iOS 16 features that will not be available on all models
- Live text in video: When watching a video on iPhone, and paused, iOS 16 will allow you to copy, search, translate, etc. text from the video. This feature is reserved for devices using at least the A12 Bionic chip, therefore, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. On the other hand, it supports the French language. Convenient, for example, for online courses.
- Quick Actions in Live Text: Apple also offers Quick Actions in Live Text (when you select text from a photo, video, or camera). These quick actions allow you, for example, to convert currencies, save a phone number, or even go to a website. This feature of iOS 16 is also reserved for devices with an A12 Bionic chip or newer.
- The “Emoji in text” feature, which allows you to insert emojis when dictating with Siri, is also reserved for devices with at least an A12 Bionic chip.
- The “Discover Siri” feature that lets you ask the assistant “Hey Siri, what can I do here?” or “Hey Siri, what can I do with iRobot?” is also reserved for iPhones with a Boinic A12 chip or newer.
- On iOS 16, Apple also offers a new dictation experience. “You can easily switch between voice and keyboard to enter text. Type with the keyboard, touch the text field, move the cursor and insert QuickType suggestions, without stopping Dictation », explains the firm. But as with the other features above, you will need to have an iPhone with A12 Bionic chip, at least.
- Among the other functions that will require the A12 chip is also the functionality that allows you to select an object in a photo to isolate it (automatic clipping), then copy and paste elsewhere, without taking the background.
- As for the Live Caption feature, which automatically generates subtitles for audio or video content playing on the iPhone, this requires an iPhone 11 or later model. Additionally, Live Caption currently only works with English-language content.
- There are also photo and video features exclusive to the iPhone 13 series: the ability to blur foreground elements in portrait mode, or improved cinematic mode.
To summarise, Apple allows iPhone 8 and iPhone X to take advantage of the new version of iOS. But if you want to enjoy all the features, you will still have to buy a new iPhone. As mentioned above, these restrictions are probably due to hardware constraints. For example, some AI-based functions may not be able to be handled by devices still using the A11 chip.