Earlier this month, Apple announced iOS 15 with notification improvements, new FaceTime features, and more. It also revealed a list of devices that are eligible to receive the update, dating back to the iPhone 6s released in 2015. However, as with macOS Monterey offering exclusive features for M1 Macs, the Cupertino tech giant has announced that some iOS 15 features will also be available only on newer iPhones.
The report comes via 9to5Mac, which says that a handful of iOS 15 features require Apple's A12 Bionic chip or newer, which narrows the list down to iPhone XR, XS, iPhone 11 series, iPhone SE (2020), and iPhone 12 series.
The list of unsupported features on older iPhones is quite similar in some aspects to the situation for Intel Macs. Spatial Audio and background blurring in Portrait Mode on FaceTime, interactive 3D globes and AR-based walking directions on Apple Maps, Live Text and visual lookup in photos, and animated backgrounds in the Weather app are all not supported. The list further extends to the lack of on-device speech processing and Wallet keys on devices older than the iPhone XR.
The situation gets even more complicated and fragmented for newer devices. For example, improvements to Panorama mode, enhanced 5G connectivity, and prioritization of 5G over Wi-Fi will only be available for the iPhone 12. Similarly, Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking requires an iPhone 7 whereas Walking Steadiness requires an iPhone 8 at the minimum.
Overall, it is important to understand that although iOS 15 is being rolled out to older devices dating back to 2015, users of some devices will be missing out on a lot of features offered by the operating system. Apple clearly wants users to upgrade to its newer offerings, which is evident from the lack of support for some headlining iOS 15 and macOS Monterey features for iPhones and Macs respectively.