Apple noted in the iOS 16 press release that: “New software features will be available this fall as a free software update for iPhone 8 and later.”
The following iPhones can get iOS 16:
iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone SE (second generation and later)
This means that the following phones, that were supported by iOS 15, have now fallen off the list:
iPhone SE (first generation)
While you might not mind if your iPhone cannot run the latest iOS you should keep in mind that Apple only provides security updates for the past three versions of iOS. This means that Apple will stop support for those three handsets in the next couple of years. The iPhone 6 models and older are already not supported by Apple, which means users could be vulnerable to hacking. See: How long does Apple support iPhones?
Features that won’t be available at launch
There are always a number of features that Apple announced but don’t make it to the September launch day. So far we know that one feature in particular won’t be available until later:
It will (eventually) be possible view activities happening in real time via the Lock Screen. So you could see the results of a game, or get an idea of when your takeaway will be delivered without unlocking your iPhone.
This is a new smart home connectivity standard, which will hopefully mean more choice for those looking for connected products to install around the home. It’s also coming later.
Which iOS 16 features can I get?
Even if your iPhone can run iOS 16 you won’t necessarily get all the features that come with it.
A couple of elements of the iOS 16 experience will work on newer handsets only.
One of the new dictation features will be the ability to insert an emoji with your voice. This feature requires an iPhone with A12 Bionic and later, which includes the iPhone XS, XS Max, XR and newer. There are also language limitations.
You’ll be able to lift a subject from the background in images as long as your iPhone has a A12 Bionic or later (iPhone XS, XS Max, XR and newer).
Live Text in video
You’ll be able to pause a video and copy, translate, look up text or dial a phone number – as long as your iPhone has a A12 Bionic or later (iPhone XS, XS Max, XR and newer).
You’ll be able to turn audio into text making it easier to follow along. This accessibility feature is only available on iPhone 11 and later though.
Door Detection and People Detection
These features require the LiDAR scanner which is only available on the iPhone 12 Pro and later.