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A list of iOS 16 features that require an iPhone XS or newer

Published Jun 23rd, 2022 3:34PM EDT
iPhone XS sitting on a table.
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR

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Earlier this month, Apple revealed iOS 16 at WWDC 2022. We got to see the redesigned lock screen, Live Text for videos, the ability to unsend text messages, and more. We also learned that iOS 16 will lose support for five older iPhone models. This was not especially surprising, as iOS 13, iOS 14, and iOS 15 all supported the same iPhones. But it turns out that not every feature coming to iOS 16 will be available on supported devices. For some of the best new iOS 16 features, you’ll need at least an iPhone XS.

Features that won’t work with all supported models

As spotted by 9to5Mac, some of Apple’s new features for iOS 16 will only work on iPhones with the A12 Bionic chip or newer. This chip first appeared on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

iOS 16 will support the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, but they come with the A11. That means they won’t have access to some key features.

iOS 16 features for iPhone XS and newer models

iPhone XS with eraser wallpaper.Image source: Zach Epstein, BGR
  • Multilayered photo effect: Photo subjects are dynamically displayed in front of the time to make the subject of the photo pop.
  • Live Text in videos: Text is completely interactive in paused video frames, so you can use functions like copy and paste, lookup, and translate. Live Text works in Photos, Quick Look, Safari, and more.
  • Quick actions in Live Text: Data detected in photos and videos is actionable with a single tap. Track flights or shipments, translate foreign languages, convert currencies, and more.
  • New languages for Live Text: Live Text adds recognition of Japanese, Korean, and Ukrainian text.
  • Emoji in texts: Insert emoji when sending messages with Siri.
  • All-new Dictation experience: While dictating on your device, you can move fluidly between voice and touch. Type with the keyboard, tap in the text field, move the cursor, and insert QuickType suggestions, all without needing to stop Dictation.
  • Emoji support in Dictation: Insert emoji using your voice while dictating on your device.
  • Hey Siri, what can I do here?: Discover Siri capabilities in iOS and apps by asking “Hey Siri, what can I do here?” You can also inquire about a specific app by saying, for example, “Hey Siri, what can I do with iRobot?”
  • Call hang up with Siri: You can now hang up phone calls and FaceTime calls with Siri. Just say “Hey Siri, hang up” (participants on the call will hear you). You can enable this feature in Settings.
  • Expanded offline support for Siri: Siri processes more types of requests offline without an internet connection, including Home Control (HomeKit), Intercom, and Voicemail.
  • Add medications using your iPhone camera: You can quickly add your medications by using your iPhone camera. Simply position the medication label in the frame and you’ll see results for medication name, strength, and form.

iOS 16 features for iPhone 11 and newer models

iPhone 11 Pro with the screen on.
An iPhone 11 Pro with the screen on. Image source: Zach Epstein for BGR
  • Live Captions: Transcriptions are generated automatically in real time for users who are deaf or hard of hearing so they can follow along more easily with conversations, audio, and video.
  • Live Captions in FaceTime: See automatically transcribed dialogue integrated into your FaceTime video calls. With speaker attribution, it’s easy to follow along with group conversations.

iOS 16 features for iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Back
The back of Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR
  • Detection Mode in Magnifier: Get rich descriptions of your surroundings with a new Magnifier mode that contains Door Detection, People Detection, and Image Descriptions.
  • Door Detection in Magnifier: Locate a door, read signs or labels around it, and get instructions on how to open the door.

iOS 16 features for iPhone 13 and newer models

Apple iPhone 13 Main
Apple iPhone 13 in blue. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR
  • Foreground blur in portrait photos: Portrait mode lets you blur objects in the foreground of a photo for a more realistic‑looking depth‑of‑field effect.
  • Improved quality when recording in Cinematic mode: When recording videos in Cinematic mode on iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, the depth‑of‑field effect is more accurate for profile angles and around the edges of hair and glasses.

As you can see, iOS 16 will offer a very different experience depending on how old your iPhone is. Even if you can download the software update, you won’t be able to use all of the new features unless you have at least an iPhone 13. There’s a chance that some features will also be exclusive to the iPhone 14, but Apple hasn’t revealed them yet.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.