Which iPhones will be able to run iOS 17?
Apple announced new software for its iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, June 5, alongside a new MacBook Air and Apple Vision Pro, its pricey but exciting mixed-reality headset.
Most years, though not all, the news of great new software isn’t good news for some Apple device owners. We can expect that this fall’s Apple iPhone 15 series will be able to run the new OS, of course, but what about older iPhones? There are several handsets which won’t be able to upgrade, something which will affect millions of iPhone users.
New features can demand greater speed or power than older processors can manage, meaning not all iPhones, for instance, can upgrade to the newest version.
This year, Apple iPhones will move to iOS 17, but three models no longer make the cut. Basically, the phones first sold in 2017 will not enjoy the new features of the software that will be released this fall.
Two are among the last Touch ID iPhones, specifically iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. And the third is more significant because it’s the iPhone X, the very first full-screen Apple phone and the first to introduce Face ID.
Of course, these phones will continue to work exactly as they do now, and will doubtless be eligible for security updates, they just won’t enjoy the new features. And there are plenty of those, from Contact Posters which customize how you appear on another iPhone screen when you call them, to StandBy, which offers information when your phone is charging and turned on its side.
Other cool additions include NameDrop—no, not the thing many of us get so unfairly accused of, but a way of transferring contact details just by bringing two iPhones close together.
On the plus side, it’s only one year’s crop of iPhones that are slipping off the list. When Apple moved from iOS 15 to iOS 16, two years’ worth of handsets were suddenly incompatible, including iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Even so, if you have the iPhone X, 8 or 8 Plus, it ain’t great news.
For your peace of mind, here’s the full list of iPhones which will be updateable to iOS 17 in the fall.
There are plenty more updates to look forward to. Some of my favorites include downloadable maps so you can use Maps offline—handy if you’re abroad and don’t want to be springing for expensive roaming data non-stop. There’s going to be a lot of updates coming to the Health app, recognizing that mental health is as important as physical well-being. Oh, and you won’t have to say “Hey” any more, just “Siri” to attract the attention of the virtual personal assistant.