Apple finally unveiled iOS 16 last week and not everyone is thrilled. Although iOS 16 introduces a slew of new features, not all iPhone users will be able to enjoy them. With iOS 16, the list of supported devices only includes the iPhone 8 and models released afterward. In other words, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, and original iPhone SE owners are out of luck.
The fact that Apple dropped support for these iPhone models is arguably somewhat surprising. Note that iOS 15 supported iPhone models going back to the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE.
This year, Apple dropped support for not one, but three generations of iPhone: the 2015 iPhone 6s and the 2016 iPhone 7, in addition to the SE. And even though these devices are six and seven years old, and even though their user base isn’t too high, impacted users are none too happy about being phased out.
iPhone 7 owners are upset
Apple traditionally does a great job of supporting older iPhone models when it releases a new iteration of iOS. Especially compared to some Android manufacturers, Apple puts a lot of work into ensuring that its next-gen software can run on devices that are years old.
But at a certain point, it’s simply not practical to maintain support for antiquated hardware. Additionally, there are instances where older iPhone hardware simply can’t run modern software smoothly.
That said, some point out that there are no technical limitations preventing a device like the iPhone 7 from running iOS 16, especially given that it has an A10 and that the 5th-gen iPad runs on an A9.
Still, that doesn’t make the frustration any less for users.
While I can see the frustration, there’s also a bit of entitlement at play. Especially when you consider how short the lifespan is for software updates on Android, the fact that Apple’s 2017 iPhone 7 models can still run iOS 15 is remarkable.
Sure, it would be great for iPhone 7 users to enjoy some of iOS 16’s new features, but Apple designs software looking forward, not backward.
The most exciting iOS 16 features
Now if you’re running an iPhone 8 or a more recent device, there’s a lot in iOS 16 to look forward to.
Of course, one of the more exciting iOS 16 features is the ability to customize the iPhone lock screen. In typical Apple fashion, it’s easy for users to play around with different templates and customize the lock screen exactly to their liking with different fonts, colors, and screen elements.
Other iOS 16 features to look forward to include a new notification design, an updated Messages app with the ability to unsend messages and recover deleted messages, Live Text in videos, improved dictation, Apple Pay Later, and much more.
One new feature I’m excited about is Live Activities. With Live Activities, users can keep tabs on sports scores from the lock screen in real time. It also makes it possible to track the progress of your Uber or food delivery service from the lock screen.
You can read about how to download the iOS 16 beta over here, or check out Apple’s preview page for iOS 16.