Apple’s annual releases of new operating systems for the iPhone and iPad always contain plenty of new features. This year is no different: both iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 are full of new features that will make your life and your work more interesting. These operating systems also have privacy and security enhancements that will make your computing safer and more secure.
But not everyone will be able to access these new features. If your iPhone or iPad is too old, you’ll be shut out of some of the new features in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.
Here’s what you might miss out on, depending on your device.
iOS 17 runs on the iPhone XS, XR, and later models. This includes the iPhone SE (2nd generation), and all iPhones from the iPhone 11 to the present. Most new features will be available on all compatible iPhone models, but the following features won’t be available to everyone.
FaceTime live reactions
iOS 17 will let you add reactions during FaceTime video calls, displaying confetti, balloons, or emoji. You will be able to share reactions with a simple hand gesture, such as a thumbs up. However, this is only available with an iPhone 12 or later, and only when using the front camera.
Standby Mode is a neat new feature that lets your iPhone display useful content when it is charging and in landscape mode. The iPhone can display clocks, widgets, and even a smart stack to show you all sorts of information while your device is powering up. This is really practical on a bedside table, or even on your desk at work.
Standby Mode has an always-on option that’s only available with the iPhone 14 or 14 Pro or later. If you enable this option, Apple says the display will “intelligently turn off when not in use. When attention is detected, iPhone will not sleep the display.”
Autocorrect improvements and predictive typing
Apple has made enhancements to its auto correct feature. Autocorrected words are temporarily underlined, so you can change them back to the word you typed with a single tap. This feature is only available on the iPhone 12 or later, and only in certain languages.
Improvements in predictive typing let you tap the space bar, as you type, to finish words or sentences. This, too, requires an iPhone 12 or later, and is only available in English at release.
Back-to-back Siri requests
Siri has always been limited to one request at a time. Starting with iOS 17, you will be able to perform back-to-back Siri requests. For example, tell Siri to create a reminder, then tell Siri, without having to say “Hey, Siri” again, to set a timer. This feature will be available in English, on the iPhone 11 or later.
Siri without the “Hey”
Starting with this year’s operating systems, you will be able to invoke Siri with just one word: “Siri.” This will be an option in the Settings, and will work on all iPhones. However, for some reason, the only AirPods model this works with is the AirPods Pro 2. So if you have other AirPods, you cannot invoke Siri on your iPhone without saying “Hey.”
Point and Speak
Point and Speak is a new accessibility feature that works with the Magnifier app to speak text that is printed on objects. You use the back camera to focus on the text you want to read, then tap a button, and your iPhone will read the text. This feature is only available on Pro models of the iPhone 12 or later.
New AirPods features
New AirPods features such as Adaptive Audio, a mute and unmute feature, and improvements to automatic switching between devices require an iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or later iPhone, as well as AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with the latest firmware.
iPad OS 17
iPadOS 17 will run on the iPad Air (3rd generation or later), the iPad (6th generation), the iPad mini (5th generation or later), and the iPad Pro (2nd generation or later).
There are several new features specific to iPadOS:
This feature will allow you to quickly autofill information from your contacts to PDFs or scanned documents. Available on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), and iPad (8th generation and later).
Stage Manager enhanced layouts
Stage Manager gets additional flexibility in moving and resizing windows. Available on iPad Air (5th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later), and iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later).
Use an external camera for FaceTime calls
If your iPad is connected to a display, you can use that display’s camera for FaceTime calls. This is only available on iPad Air (5th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later), and iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later).
Many of the features mentioned above, which are limited to recent iPhone models, will have similar limitations on the iPad. Here are the features it will not work on every compatible iPad.
- FaceTime Reactions: Available on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation and later), iPad (10th generation), iPad Air (4th generation and later), or iPad mini (6th generation) when using the front camera.
- Enhanced Autocorrect and Predictive Typing: Available on iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation and later), iPad (10th generation), iPad Air (4th generation and later), or iPad mini (6th generation).
- Back-to-back Siri requests: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), and iPad (8th generation and later).
- New AirPods features: The new AirPods features mentioned above work with more AirPods models (AirPods (2nd and 3rd generation), AirPods Pro (1st and 2nd generation), and AirPods Max, with the latest firmware), and with an iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation and later), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad (6th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later).
While you may miss out on some of these new features, there are plenty of features that you can use on all compatible iPhones and iPads. Read about our Top 12 New Features in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.
How can I learn more?
You may also be interested in reading about the macOS Sonoma features that aren’t available on older Macs.
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