All the New Features Your Older Apple Products Won’t Be Getting

All the New Features Your Older Apple Products Won’t Be Getting
Photo: Xolodan, Shutterstock

As far as software support goes, it’s tough to beat Apple. The company continues to update older devices years after their initial release, to the point where it stings when your six-year-old iPhone 7 isn’t eligible for iOS 16. The company might be generous with its software updates, but that doesn’t mean it gives all of its new features to all devices. If you’re rocking some older Apple hardware, you might be missing out on some of the best new features coming this fall.

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

The good news is everyone gets the ability to edit and unsend messages. Phew! However, there are a lot of features that won’t be available on Apple’s oldest iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 devices. If you have an iPhone 8 or an iPad (7th generation), for example, you’re missing out on a bulk of features. However, there’s also a handful of features Apple omitted from newer devices, meaning you need to have the best of the bunch in order to take advantage of everything new here.

A12 Bionic iPhones and iPads and newer

Think iPhone XS, XR and newer, as well as iPad Air (3rd generation), iPad Mini (5th generation), and iPad (8th generation) and newer.

  • Continuity Camera: This new feature lets you use your iPhone as your Mac’s webcam and/or microphone. The process is entirely wireless and requires no setup. Plus, you can take advantage of Portrait mode (iPhone only).
  • Add medications to the Health app with your camera: You can scan medications with your iPhone’s camera to add them to the Health app, with information like the medication’s name, strength, and form (iPhone only).
  • Live Text in videos: When you pause a video in iOS 16, any text in the frame is interactive. Live Text is already exclusive to A12 Bionic and newer.
  • Live Text quick actions: Similarly, another new Live Text feature allows you to interact with data in a photo or video with one tap.
  • Lift the subject from a photo’s background: Press and hold on the subject of a photo to lift its cutout from the image. You can drop this new image into another source.
  • Insert emoji when texting with Siri: You can now add an emoji when crafting a text with Siri.
  • Hang up a call with Siri: You can now say “Hey Siri, hang up the call” to end a phone call.
  • Ask Siri what you can do: Ask Siri what you can do in an app, and the assistant will tell you about your options, as well as different Siri commands that are available.
  • Expanded offline support for Siri: More Siri requests will be processed on-device without connecting to the internet.
  • Revamped Dictation: With iOS 16, Dictation doesn’t block the keyboard, so you can quickly move between typing with your voice and typing on-screen.
  • New Visual Look Up subjects: Visual Look Up previously helped you identify animals, plants, and landmarks. Now, Apple has added birds, insects, and statues to the list.
  • Spotlight searches images across more apps: Spotlight will now look at images in Messages, Notes, and Files, to help you search for more specific queries.

iPhone 11, A12 Bionic iPads and newer

These features don’t work on A12 Bionic iPhones, so the iPhone 11 is the newest Apple smartphone that is compatible with them. However, your A12 Bionic iPad will work here (with two exceptions).

  • Centre Stage with Continuity Camera: While iPhones older than the 11 can use Continuity Camera, only the 11 and newer can take advantage of Centre Stage, thanks to the ultra-wide angle camera on these iPhones (iPhone only).
  • Desk View with Continuity Camera: Using your iPhone’s ultra-wide camera, you can show off a bird’s eye view of your desk while showing your face at the same time (iPhone only).
  • Live Transcriptions: You can choose to see live subtitles on-screen during conversations, audio playback, or while watching video.
  • Live Captions in FaceTime: Similarly, there’s now an option to see live captions automatically transcribed during a FaceTime video call, with speaker attribution.

iPhone 12 and newer

There’s one feature that applies to the iPhone 12 and newer:

  • Studio Light with Continuity Camera: During video calls, Studio Light will brighten your face while dimming the background.

iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro, A12Z iPads and newer

Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro — plus their Max variants — can use these two features, as can A12Z iPads and newer (think iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation) and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation) for this one).

  • Detection mode in Magnifier: You’ll be able to see rich descriptions of doors, people, and images when using Magnifier.
  • Door Detection in Magnifier: Apple specifically highlights Door Detection, and how you’ll be able to find a door, read signs and labels surrounding the door, as well as see instructions on how to open the door.

iPhone 13 and 13 Pro

Only the iPhone 13 lineup can use these two iOS 16 features:

  • Portrait mode foreground blur: In addition to blurring the background in Portrait mode, you can now blur areas of the foreground as well.
  • Cinematic mode quality is improved: You’ll notice the depth-of-field effect in Cinematic mode is more accurate around close-ups, as well as the edges of hair and glasses.

M1 iPads

Apple’s 11-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and iPad Air with the M1 chip can take advantage of these two professional features:

  • Stage Manager: Apple is bringing macOS Ventura’s new Stage Manager feature to M1 iPads, introducing genuine window multitasking to iPad for the first time.
  • Virtual memory swap: Your iPad’s storage can be used to increase the total amount of RAM while using intensive apps, up to 16GB in total (M1 iPad Air requires at least 256 GB).

iPad Pro 12.9-inch (M1)

If you have Apple’s premiere and most expensive tablet, only you can use this unique feature:

  • Reference Mode: You can use your iPad to deliver reference colour for video production (so long as you have an Apple silicon Mac).

macOS Ventura

Luckily for Mac owners, there aren’t too many limitations here. If your Mac is compatible with macOS Ventura, then you likely have access to nearly every feature. There are a few, though, that are only available on Apple silicon (M1 and newer):

  • Live Transcriptions: You can choose to see live subtitles on-screen during conversations, audio playback, or while watching video.
  • Live Captions in FaceTime: Similarly, there’s now an option to see live captions automatically transcribed during a FaceTime video call, with speaker attribution.
  • Insert emoji when texting with Siri: You can now add an emoji when crafting a text with Siri.
  • Reference Mode: You can pair your 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro to your Mac to deliver reference colour for video production.

      

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