iOS 16 won’t officially launch until the fall (probably September), but thanks to Apple’s beta program, you’ll be able to try it out long before then. The first developer-only beta rolled out in June, and the public beta has now followed, meaning anyone can sign up for the program and try iOS 16 for themselves.
However, it’s important to note that the full iOS 16 experience showcased at WWDC 2022 will not necessarily be the same as the one on your device. Depending on the age and processor of your iPhone, various elements of the operating system fall off the table. In this article we outline the differences. Here are the new iOS 16 features you won’t get on your device when you join the public beta, and why.
Lift the subject out of a photo
We’re obsessed with the new feature that lets you cut and extract the subject from a photo with a single long press. But this is only available on iPhones with an A12 Bionic or better processor, meaning you’ll need an iPhone XS, XR, or later (or a 2020 or 2022 iPhone SE).
The Live Text upgrades that allow you to copy text from paused video and convert currency and translate languages with a single tap are only available if your iPhone has an A12 Bionic processor or higher. Again, that means the iPhone XS or newer.
The multi-layered lock screen photo effect
The updated lock screen includes a nice 3D effect that layers photo subjects. But you guessed it, this only works if you have an iPhone XR/XS or newer.
Tracking medication with the camera
iOS 16 includes an update to the Health app that allows you to create a list of medications. For added convenience, you can just hold the label in front of your iOS 16 device’s camera and the details will be entered for you, but only if you have an iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or later.
Voice Activated Emoji
With iOS 16, you can insert emoji into Siri-composed texts, or anytime you’re dictating. But you’ll need an A12 Bionic processor or newer, which again means iPhone XS/XR and above.
Siri gets more improvements in iOS 16, including the ability to hang up calls (including FaceTime calls), a wider range of offline commands, and a discovery feature where you say, “Hey Siri, what can I do here?” and it explains what actions are available in a particular app or context. But these all require an A12 Bionic or better, meaning iPhone XS/XR or newer.
‘Fluid’ Dictation Experience
With iOS 16, you can switch between voice and touch while dictating: you can type on the keyboard, accept QuickType suggestions, and move the cursor without leaving the dictation. But only if you have an A12 Bionic or better, so iPhone XS/XR or newer.
Share ID with apps
As of the iOS 16 update, you can add a driver’s license or state ID to Wallet and then use that to verify your identity or age in relevant apps. (Only the verification is shared, not your personal information.) This works with all iPhones that are compatible with iOS 16 (iPhone 8 or later), but you need an Apple Watch Series 4 or later to get it on your wrist.
Share key in Wallet
This is probably obvious, but the smart new digital key sharing features depend on the implementation on the car/property side and in iOS 16. If your car manufacturer/brand hasn’t made the change or hasn’t participate, for example , this feature is not available to you.
There’s a new Home app with a new design and architecture, but keep in mind that 1) all devices that access that smart home must have the latest software and 2) many of the functions require a hub , and if your hub is an iPad, you are not eligible for the new architecture. For these reasons, Home may not behave as you would expect, even if your iPhone is running iOS 16 beta.
Excited about the promised changes to CarPlay? So are we, but they’re not ready yet. It will be by the end of next year before we even know what cars it will be integrated into.
Detection mode in magnifying glass
A new Magnifier mode is designed to improve accessibility by detecting and describing nearby objects, including the ability to locate doors and receive instructions on how to open them. But this is only available on recent and high-end hardware: you’ll need a 12 Pro or 13 Pro (or the Max equivalents, we assume) if you want to use the feature on the iPhone.
The mode is also available on the 4th and 5th generations of the iPad Pro 12.9-inch and the 2nd and 3rd generations of the iPad Pro 11-inch.
A handy new feature for deaf or hard of hearing users, iOS can automatically generate audio and video transcriptions, and this is even available live, with speaker attribution, in FaceTime conversations. However, it will initially only be available for Canadian and US English-language transcriptions and will require an iPhone 11 or newer. (The feature is also available on any iPad with an A12 Bionic processor or newer, and on all Macs with Apple silicon.)
Depth of field improvements
A few related upgrades to discuss here: You can now blur foreground objects in portrait shots, and Apple says the depth of field effect is more accurate when handling hair and glasses in movie mode. But only if you have an iPhone 13, 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max. (At least, that’s what Apple mentions on the iOS 16 preview page. The iPhone 13 mini, the other device getting Cinematic mode, is also included in both upgrades, right?)
Recognition of birds, insects and statues
Launched last year in iOS 15, Visual Look Up is an AI-powered search tool that helps you identify plants, animals, and landmarks in your photos. As of iOS 16, it adds birds, insects, and statues to its repertoire, but only if you have an iPhone with an A12 Bionic or better processor. For one last time, that means the iPhone XS/XR or newer.