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You won’t get these iOS 15 features if you have iPhones 7 to 11

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When Apple introduced iOS 15, and subsequently released a public beta, it touted plenty of new features as the reason to update from whatever your current iPhone is running. Chief among those are a Safari browser redesign, Notification Summary and Focus, portrait mode FaceTime-ing, Health, Maps and Wallet apps getting trendy new features, and a whole lot more.

What is more, Apple announced that the unwavering support for older iPhones is here to stay, as the list of handsets that will get some or all of the new iOS 15 goodies starts from the lowly iPhone 6s which was announced way back, and people obviously still bandy about. Which iPhones will get some and which all of the new iOS 15 features, though?

iOS 15 features support on iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone 6s, iPhone X, and iPhone SE

Here are all the new iOS 15 features that iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPhone X won’t get, for the lack of an at least A12 Bionic chipset:

  • Home, office, hotel, car keys, and remote keyless entry controls: basically all the new Wallet app features are off-limits for older iPhones.
  • Spatial audio during FaceTime: voices are spread out to sound like they’re coming from the direction in which they’re positioned on the call.
  • Portrait mode: portrait mode in FaceTime blurs your background and puts the focus on you.
  • Live Text and object recognition: interact with text and recognized objects or landmarks in live Camera previews, Photos, Screenshot, Quick Look, and Safari.
  • Fast on-device speech processing: faster Siri, offline Timers & Alarms, Phone, Messaging, Sharing, App Launch, Control Audio Playback, and Settings control.
  • Continuous on-device dictation.
  • Interactive globe: interactive 3D globe in Maps, with extra mountain ranges, deserts, forests, oceans, etc., details.
  • Immersive walking directions: step-by-step directions shown in augmented reality.
  • Detailed city experience in Maps: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, or London get high level of detail for roads, trees, buildings, or landmarks.
  • New animated backgrounds in the Weather app: reflecting the sun position, clouds, or precipitation.
  • Zoom in QuickTake video: swipe up or down while taking a QuickTake video to zoom in or out.
In addition to all of the features above, both the iPhone 6s AND iPhone 7 models, won’t get the new Walking Steadiness feature that comes with iOS 15. It includes new Mobility algorithms that assess balance, stability, and coordination via the iPhone/Watch sensors, but, since older iPhones don’t have the necessary sensors, the gait of their owners will have to stay as sober or drunk as they like without pesky notifications in the overhauled Health app.
Also, adding insult to injury, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus won’t get spatial audio with dynamic head tracking when listening with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, for a less “immersive Dolby Atmos music experience” in iOS 15. 

Or, as Apple succinctly puts it, you won’t be able to “bring music to life by delivering sound that dynamically adjusts as you turn your head.” Bummer, but at least iPhones 7 to X don’t get Spatial audio during FaceTime calls, either.

iOS 15 features support on iPhone 12, iPhone 11, and iPhone XR/XS

Here’s a list of all fully iOS 15 compatible iPhones with the A12 processor and up:

  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
Those phones get nearly all of the iOS 15 features save for “Enhanced connectivity on 5G” and “5G preferred over Wi-Fi” options that are reserved for the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max only. 
These 5G-specific ones, as you might’ve already guessed, include faster iCloud backup and Photos sync, as well as Apple News+ magazines, videos, and machine learning models downloads, plus higher quality video streaming. Not surprising, but still, there are some iOS 15 features and optimizations that even the iPhone 11 series can’t take full advantage of.

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