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An Update On iOS 7 Device And App Compatibility

August 5, 2013
On Sunday, a new survey was published that noted that 95 percent of developers were working to add iOS 7 support to their apps. More than half of all apps – 52 percent – will require iOS 7 in order to run on an iDevice. Apple is likely to release iOS 7 to the public in September. Couple this with the survey results, and we thought it best to review once again the requirements for iOS 7.

Compatible devices

First things first, the only compatible devices are as follows:
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad 2
  • 3rd generation iPad with Retina
  • 4th generation iPad with Retina
  • iPad Mini
  • 5th generation iPod touch
Naturally, we can add next generation versions of the iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch to the list. This means that iOS 7 isn’t compatible with the first-generation iPad or iPhone, or the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS. Additionally, any iPod touch older than the fifth generation model is also incompatible.

Restrictions by device

Additionally, restrictions exist on some devices that are compatible with iOS 7. As of today, Aug. 5, these restrictions are as:
  1. Panorama format is available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod touch (5th generation). Square and video formats and swipe to capture are available on iPhone 4 or later, iPad (3rd generation or later), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation).
  2. Filters in Camera are available on iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation). Filters in Photos are available on iPhone 4 or later, iPad (3rd generation or later), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation).
  3. AirDrop is available on iPhone 5, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires an iCloud account.
  4. Siri is available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad with Retina display, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply. New female and male voices will be available initially in U.S. English, French, and German.
  5. Find My iPhone enables you to locate iOS devices only when they are on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan. Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas.
Please note: These restrictions are subject to change prior to the official release of iOS 7.

About those apps

Finally, it’s time to circle back to app compatibility. There is a difference between “requiring iOS 7” and not supporting past iOS versions. Anyone using an incompatible device can still run apps that are eventually marked “requires iOS 7.” However, those apps won’t be upgradeable. Under this scenario, you would be able to continue using the app up to the last version that doesn’t require iOS 7. In this case, the update won't even show up for you in the App Store. What these folks have to watch out for, however, is when the time comes that a developer no longer supports previous iOS versions. At that point, the app won’t work at all on older devices, regardless of the app version. Luckily, this doesn't happen very often. When it does, we're usually talking about apps that require a live Internet connection, such as those that stream video. Games, by contrast, usually aren't affected. We'll continue to follow this story. In the meantime, see: Apple Fixes Charger-Based Hack In iOS 7 Beta 4, and Still Not Loving Apple's iOS 7? Take A Look At These Design Alternatives.

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