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iOS 16: 5 amazing features that sadly require newer iPhone models

The list of devices supported by iOS 16 is extensive but not everyone will have access to the latest features. (Image source: Unsplash)
The list of devices supported by iOS 16 is extensive but not everyone will have access to the latest features. (Image source: Unsplash)
While iOS 16 is compatible with the iPhone 8 and later, including the iPhone X, Apple has remained largely ambiguous about when it comes to disclosing which devices will receive all of the new features that were debuted at WWDC’22. Learn which features will require a newer iPhone and why it might be time to upgrade this fall.

1. iPhone 13 lineup exclusives

A couple of the features in iOS 16 remain exclusive to the latest iPhone models, including foreground blur for portrait mode photos and improved quality for videos captured using cinematic mode. On all models of the iPhone 13, portrait mode now allows users to blur objects in the foreground, offering a more realistic depth-of-field effect.

On the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, users will notice a more accurate depth-of-field or bokeh effect for profile angles as well as around the edges of glasses and hair.

Cinematic mode and portrait photography will appear more convincing for those sporting the latest iPhone models. (Image source: Unsplash)
Cinematic mode and portrait photography will appear more convincing for those sporting the latest iPhone models. (Image source: Unsplash)

2. Live Text actions

In iOS 16, the Live Text feature, which allows users to pull contextual data from photos, benefits from a number of added features, including new Quick Actions, Live Text in videos, an all-new dictation system, and expanded language compatibility. Quick Actions will allow users to track shipments, flights, translate languages, and convert currencies with a single tap. Live Text recognizes new languages in iOS 16, including Korean, Japanese, and Ukrainian.

The new dictation interface will keep the keyboard on the screen, allowing users to make edits as they speak and insert emojis using their voice. Emoji support for message dictation using Siri is available in Cantonese (Hong Kong), English (Australia, Canada, India, UK, US), French (France), German (Germany), Japanese (Japan), Mandarin Chinese (China mainland, Taiwan), and Spanish (Mexico, Spain, US). Unfortunately, these features are only available on iPhone models featuring the A12 Bionic chip and newer.

3. Live Captions

A new feature called Live Captions dynamically generates and transcribes onscreen captions within apps and experiences where closed captioning may not be available natively.

This includes auto-generated captions that are accessible within FaceTime calls and RTT (Real-Time-Text) interfaces within other apps. Live Captions will only be available on the iPhone 11 and newer when iOS 16 presumably debuts next month.

It's a shame that this incredible accessibility feature is not available on older iPhone models. (Image source: Apple Newsroom)
It's a shame that this incredible accessibility feature is not available on older iPhone models. (Image source: Apple Newsroom)

4. Battery percentage indicator

With iOS 16 Apple is once-again following its classic formula of removing functionality only to add it back years later as a “new feature”. This time, a whole five years later, Apple is adding back the battery percentage indicator on select iPhone models including the iPhone X, the iPhone XS lineup, the iPhone 11 Pro lineup, the iPhone 12, all iPhone 12 Pro models, and all iPhone 13 Pro models.

Due to reduced display quality and sizing constraints, the new battery percentage indicator is not available on the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 mini, or the iPhone 13 mini.

What was old is new again. I assume this changes everything right, Apple? (Image source: Own)
What was old is new again. I assume this changes everything right, Apple? (Image source: Own)

5. Miscellaneous features

A myriad of features including new wallpapers, enhancements to Visual Lookup, expanded image search, Siri skill discovery within apps, and the ability to add medications to the Health app using the iPhone remain exclusive to the iPhone XR/XS and later. The new Astronomy wallpaper, originally released in beta for iOS devices featuring the A13 Bionic chip and later, now works as expected on devices powered by the A12 chip and later.

Visual Lookup in iOS 16 gains new domains including insects, birds, and statues. Users can also utilize Visual Lookup to lift subjects from an image by removing the background to create an instant PNG that can be pasted into other apps. A new Spotlight search engine in iOS 16 will grant users the ability to search by location, people, scenes and more within apps.

Last but not least, users will be able to ask Siri “What can I do here?” to discover hidden Siri commands within apps. These new Siri capabilities will be available in English (Australia, Canada, India, UK, US), Spanish (Mexico, Spain, US), Japanese (Japan), French (France), Cantonese (Hong Kong), and Mandarin Chinese (China mainland).

Buy the iPhone 13 (Blue, 128 GB) on Amazon 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 08 > iOS 16: 5 amazing features that sadly require newer iPhone models
Brahm Shank, 2022-08-16 (Update: 2022-09-15)