Some iOS 15 Features Won't Work on Older iPhone Models

If your phone's older than the iPhone XS, you might be missing out

It turns out older iPhone models like the 6S can run iOS 15, but only the iPhone XS and newer can make full use of all the features due to the A12 chip.

Apple confirms that iOS 15 will run on everything from an iPhone 6S (2015) to the new iPhone 12 (2020), however only the iPhone XS (2018) and newer will have access to all of its features. Many of iOS 15's processor-heavy functions, and those that will run on-device rather than requiring access to Apple servers, simply won't work on older devices.

The iOS 15 logo surrounded by phones showing off features

Apple

What it comes down to is the A12 processor, which made its debut in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. As Pocket-lint points out, some features new to iOS 15 will function on older devices—just not everything. This hardware limitation will prevent those with anything older than a 2018 model iPhone from being able to use 100% of what iOS 15 has to offer.

Some features not available for older iPhone models include Portrait Mode and Spacial Audio for Facetime, support for digital keys, and fancy real-time visuals for the weather app. A couple of presumably memory-intensive Apple Maps features also are out, including AR-view walking directions and added map details (i.e. trees, landmarks, etc).

iOS 15 Facetime Spacial Audio

Apple

Much of Siri's new iOS 15 functionality also is limited in older devices, most notably offline support and on-device processing, because Siri still will need to contact Apple's servers. Personalizations for your device, like new words, also won't be available, along with on-device dictation.

While iOS 15 won't be widely available until September, you can install the beta for a test run and see how your hardware fares right now.

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