iOS 10: The Basics

Everything you need to know about iOS 10

The release of a new version of the iOS always brings with it excitement about the new features it delivers to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners. When the initial excitement starts to wear off, though, that excitement is replaced with one extremely important question: Is my device compatible with iOS 10?

For owners who bought their devices in the 4-5 years prior to the release of iOS 10, the news was good. In this article, you can learn all about the history of iOS 10, its key features, and which Apple devices are compatible with it.

iOS 10 Compatible Apple Devices

iPhone iPod touch iPad
iPhone 7 series 6th gen. iPod touch iPad Pro series
iPhone 6S series iPad Air 2
iPhone 6 series iPad Air
iPhone SE iPad 4
iPhone 5S iPad 3
iPhone 5C iPad mini 4
iPhone 5 iPad mini 3
iPad mini 2

If your device is in the chart above, you can run iOS 10. This is particularly impressive for how many generations it encompasses. On the iPhone, iOS 10 supported 5 generations of the phone, while on the iPad it supported 6 generations. That's pretty good. Even better: unlike some versions of the iOS in the past, all features of iOS 10 run on all compatible devices.

iOS 10
image credit: Apple Inc.

Key iOS 10 Features

iOS 10 was so desirable because of the key new features it introduced. The most significant improvements that came in this version were: 

Later iOS 10 Releases

Apple released 12 updates to iOS 10 after its initial release. All updates maintained compatibility with all of the devices in the table above. Most of the updates primarily delivered bug and security fixes. However, some delivered notable new features, including iOS 10.1 (depth-of-field camera effect on iPhone 7 Plus), iOS 10.2 (TV app), and iOS 10.3 (Find My AirPods support and the new APFS filesystem).

For full details on the release history of the iOS, check out iPhone Firmware & iOS History.

What to Do If Your Device Isn't Compatible

If your device isn't present in the chart earlier in this article, it can't run iOS 10. That's not ideal, but many older models can still use iOS 9 (find out which models are iOS 9 compatible).

If your device isn't supported, that suggests that it's fairly old. This may also be a good time to upgrade to a new device, since that not only gives you compatibility with iOS 10 but also all sorts of hardware improvements.

iOS 10 Release History

  • 10.3.4 release: July 22, 2019
  • 10.3.3 release: July 19, 2017
  • 10.3.2 release: May 15, 2017 
  • 10.3.1 release: April 3, 2017  
  • 10.3 release: March 27, 2017
  • 10.2.1 release: Jan. 23, 2017
  • 10.2 release: Dec. 12, 2016  
  • 10.1.1 release: Oct. 31, 2016
  • 10.1 release: Oct. 24, 2016
  • 10.0.3 release: Oct. 17, 2016
  • 10.0.2 release: Sept. 23, 2016
  • 10.0.1 release: Sept. 13, 2016
  • iOS 10 release: Sept. 13, 2016

Apple released iOS 11 on Sept. 19, 2017.

  • How do I turn on Night Shift on iOS 10?

    Tap Settings > Display & Brightness > tap Night Shift and schedule a time to start and stop the night shift, or turn on the Manually Enable Until Tomorrow toggle. Night Shift limits blue light to help you get a better night's sleep after using your device.

  • Does iOS 10 support CarPlay?

    Yes. On iOS 10, you can customize CarPlay by rearranging and removing apps. Siri must be enabled to use CarPlay.

  • Can I turn off system haptics on iOS 10?

    Yes. Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > System Haptics to disable system haptics. Haptics for some features, like the Home button, cannot be turned off.

  • How do I downgrade iOS without losing data?

    To downgrade iOS without losing data, download the old iOS version from Apple's website, put your device into Recovery Mode, and connect it to your computer. Then, in iTunes, select the iPhone icon in the upper-left corner, hold down Option (on a Mac) or Shift (on a PC), and select Restore iPhone.

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