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iOS 15: Here are 7 features your old iPhone won't receive!

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While older iPhones will receive the upcoming iOS 15 update, but not all old iPhones will be able to take advantage of all the new features found in iOS 15. The iPhone 6s, for instance, will no doubt be in line to receive the latest iOS update, but it does lack some hardware that certain iOS 15 features offer. Here, we will cover just which new features will the older Apple smartphones miss out on.

There's never been an iOS update that's compatible with as many iPhones as iOS 15 before, and even the ancient iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will be in line to receive the latest version. Just a reminder - these smartphones were launched way back in September 2015, where back then they were still running on iOS 9.

However, that doesn't mean that all of the new iOS 15 features will be available on the iPhone 6S. The biggest separation point here can be narrowed down to the year 2018, as that was when Apple first included the A12 Bionic processor. So if you have an iPhone XS (Max) or an iPhone XR, you can look forward to most of the new iOS 15 features and heave a sigh of relief.


New features beginning with iPhone XS (Max) and iPhone XR

Camera features of iOS 15

Livetext lets you analyze text contained in photos and images in iOS 15. And via visual lookup, the iPhone will inform you of the name of the plant that is in the photo. By the way, the same applies to zooming in on QuickTake videos. 

Also, the new portrait mode in FaceTime will only work on the iPhone XS generation and newer. Older smartphones cannot blur the background in video chats despite running on iOS 15.

New features in Apple Maps

With iOS 15, Apple Maps will receive a significant update. But then again, the most beautiful and useful innovations are only available from the iPhone XS (Max) or XR onwards. The AR function for pedestrian navigation or the more detailed 3D maps will only support iPhones from 2018 and later.

Screenshot 2021 06 07 at 19.32.56
On iPhones from 2017 and older, you will probably never see such beautiful map renders, which is unfortunate / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

Apple Wallet as a key for everything

Whether it is the door to your hotel room, your own car, or sometimes even your ID: the new wallet in iOS 15 is set to digitize the key and wallet on a deeper level. However, according to Apple, this will only work from the iPhone XS generation and newer. This is fascinating, because officially speaking, UWB is only built in from the iPhone 11 onwards.

Faster offline Siri

With iOS 15, Siri on iPhones from 2018 or newer will receive an interesting upgrade. Thanks to the A12 Bionic chipset, voice commands can also be processed locally, which will be faster and consume less data, while retaining a greater degree of privacy and security since it does not send your voice recording around the globe. Of course, this also applies to the dictation function.

There are limitations to personalization though. For example, Siri on older iPhones doesn't learn which contacts you interact with most often or which topics you're most interested in. That said, you will not receive get improved results on your queries.

Screenshot 2021 06 07 at 19.53.04
On compatible iPhones, Siri will process voice commands locally in the future / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

New weather app

The new animated backgrounds in the weather app will also run only iPhone XS (Max), iPhone XR, and newer.

iOS 15: New features starting with iPhone 8

Gait Analysis Walking Steadiness

Especially relevant for older and sick people, there is an interesting new feature known as Walking Steadiness in iOS 15. Here, the iPhone analyzes the user's gait and can determine the probability of falling. Unfortunately, this will only work from the iPhone 8 and newer.

Screenshot 2021 06 07 at 20.02.05
Even the iPhone 8 will receive the gait analysis feature / © Apple; Screenshot: NextPit

iOS 15: New features starting with iPhone 7

3D audio for headphones and FaceTime

Those who still have an iPhone 6S or 6S Pro in use must, unfortunately, make do without the new surround sound features with iOS 15. On the one hand, this includes support for Dolby Atmos music in combination with the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. On the other hand, the 3D audio function for FaceTime calls will be omitted - only the iPhone 7 has enough computing power to calculate spatial sound.

What else?

All other features of iOS 15 should also arrive on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S Plus. After all, we could not discover any more exceptions in the official list from Apple. Did we forget anything? If so, do leave us a comment below.

Source: Apple

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Stefan Möllenhoff

Stefan Möllenhoff
Head of Content Production

I have been writing about technology since 2004 with a strong passion for smartphones, photography, and IoT, especially in the world of smart homes and AI ever since they debuted. I'm also an avid cook and bake pizza at least three times a week using my Ooni Koda 16. In order to compensate for all the consumed calories, I indulge in sporting activities on a daily basis while strapping on at least two fitness trackers. I am strongly convinced that you can DIY a lot of things if you put your mind to it - including a photovoltaic system and power station.

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