Apple’s upcoming iOS 7 operating system has been touted as “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone,” and its radical new redesign of the mobile operating system has been widely praised by fans online. However, not all iOS users will be getting the full iOS 7 experience when Apple launches its new operating system later this year. Apple plans to withhold several new features like AirDrop from older devices such as the iPhone 4. Here’s your guide to which Apple devices will miss out on new iOS 7 features.
iPhone 5, iPad Retina and iPad Mini
As the newest line of Apple’s iOS products, the iPhone 5 and iPad Retina will have access to every one of the new iOS 7 features that have been showcased by Apple. Everything from the control center to the new file-transfer system AirDrop (which requires an iCloud account) will be available on the iPhone 5 and the latest iPad models. Apple is clearly making a slight push for older users to adopt the newest possible hardware, and based on the usefulness of features like AirDrop, they just might be successful with some users.
Very few iOS 7 features will be missing from the second-most current iPhone, the iPhone 4S. Notification Center, multitasking and more will all be available on the iPhone 4S, but Apple’s highly touted AirDrop feature -- which allows users to quickly and easily transfer and share files via Wifi -- will be unavailable for iPhone 4S users.
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Despite some of these changes, the vast majority of Apple users will be able to take advantage of the new upgrades in iOS 7. As long as users aren’t still relying on a much older phone like the iPhone 3GS, they’ll have access to the bulk of new iOS 7 features. Upgrades like multitasking and the notification center will be featured on every iOS 7 capable device. And iTunes Radio and other cosmetic upgrades will be available for all iOS 7 users as well.
Like the iPhone 4S, older iPhone 4 models will be unable to use AirDrop or in-camera filters. Similar to the current iOS 6 operating system, iPhone 4 users will be unable to take panorama photos.
Just in case any iPhone 4 users were still holding out hope that iOS 7 would finally introduce Apple’s personal assistant Siri to older models, it’s time to put you down gently. As in iOS 6, only the iPhone 5 and 4S will be compatible with Siri.
Older iPad models
Owners of older iPad models will have to deal with a small bit of fragmentation just like older iPhone owners. The second-generation iPad will be capable of upgrading to iOS 7 but will miss out on the vast majority of new features like AirDrop, camera and photo filters, and even largely cosmetic options like square video formats. Third-generation iPads will still be unable to use AirDrop, but will support camera filters and new video formats.
iPhone 3GS and earlier
Unfortunately for anyone who still uses a much older iPhone model, the iPhone 3GS and earlier will not be able to run Apple’s latest iOS 7 upgrade. It also appears that older iPod and iPad models will not support iOS 7 at all, either. According to Apple, first-generation iPads cannot run iOS 7, nor can anything other than the newly-introduced fifth-generation iPod.