iOS 16 arrives tonight: how to know if your iPhone is compatible?

The new major update to Apple’s OS will be available this Monday evening, September 12. But not all iPhones will be in the same boat.

Five Discontinued Models

Let’s start with the bad news: if you have an iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 6s / 6s Plus, or iPhone 7 / 7 Plus, you won’t be able to take advantage of the update. Apple has indeed decided to abandon these models, which will therefore remain blocked on iOS 15.

Other limits

Among the new features offered by iOS 16, some will only be available on newer iPhones. You will need to have at least an A12 Bionic chip to benefit from these options:

  • Live Text, or the recognition of text in images
  • Dictate emojis
  • Text recognition in Japanese, Korean and Ukrainian
  • The “Treatments” option within the Health app, which reminds you to take medication
  • Image search in Notes, Files and Messages
  • Automatic cropping of subjects in your photos

As a reminder, the A12 Bionic chip was introduced in the iPhone XR and XS. These two models, as well as the most recent ones, will therefore be compatible with the options below.

Finally, improvements such as foreground blur effects and an overhauled cinematic mode will only be available on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14.

Delayed options

Among the new features of iOS 16, some will only be available in a few months. This is the case of “Live Activities”, the possibility for developers to display live content on the locked screen. This concerns in particular Uber, which will be able to display your trip without having to unlock the phone. Or a sports app that would show your favorite team’s live scores.

The FreeForm application, a kind of whiteboard allowing several people to collaborate on the same document (via photos, text or drawing) is also delayed, and should arrive before the end of the year.

Finally, the arrival of the “iCloud Shared Photo Library” option has recently been postponed. This shared photo library allows users to create a common photo library and invite anyone with an Apple ID to view, contribute to, and edit it. An ideal option for couples and families, which is also expected for the end of the year.

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