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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Apple revises iOS 10 compatibility list, re-drops older models

Apple revises iOS 10 compatibility list, re-drops older models
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MacNN Staff
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Jun 14, 2016, 12:49 PM
MacNN initially reported on the compatibility list of devices able to run the forthcoming iOS 10 yesterday shortly after the keynote presentation ended. That original article was based on a briefly-shown slide that listed the compatible devices, but was later revised when an expanded list that included older devices was published on Apple's web page promoting iOS 10. Along with other sites, MacNN has now received confirmation and clarification directly from the company's Cupertino offices that officially drops the iPad 2, iPad (third generation), the first-generation iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch off the list.

The new revisions make more sense from a technical standpoint, as it completely rules out devices unless they are running Apple's A6 processor or newer. In the expanded list, the presence of devices going back to 2011 was curious for its omission of the iPhone 4s, the oldest iPhone capable of running iOS 9, which was otherwise technically capable by the standards of the expanded list. The web page has now been revised to remove the older devices, and iOS 10 now officially runs on the iPhone 5 and later, the second-gen iPad mini and later, the fourth-generation iPad and later, and only the most recent sixth-generation iPod touch.

Previous Apple listing of iOS 10 compatibility
Previous Apple listing of iOS 10 compatibility

Developers currently playing with the just-released iOS 10 developer preview have added some small tidbits to what was showcased at the WWDC keynote in the way of new features, such as the new ability to delete some Apple apps (though there are consequences for doing so in some cases, in terms of lost functionality). Among other unmentioned features (most very minor) that have appeared in the first iOS 10 beta is the ability to moderate the intensity of the "flashlight" feature, a new "wake-up alarm" feature that tracks sleep and emphasizes routine, optional "optimized storage" for music (as well as photos and videos as seen at the keynote), a new "avoid tolls" option in Apple Maps, the (temporary?) removal of the Game Center app itself (not the functionality within games, however), and control over when and where to send "read receipts" in email, among others.

New officially-official list of compatible devices
New officially-official list of compatible devices

Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Jun 14, 2016, 01:04 PM
I was looking forward to that release for my son's iPod touch, only had it a year (birthday is in May, 6th gen was released in July) I know he'd have loved the new iMessage and I'd finally get to erase a bunch of apps he doesn't need. If I'd had the choice I'd have gotten a newer version(better processor), but apple only offered the 5th gen with the A5 at the time. Think this is the shortest lived apple product life I've ever experienced. Going to have to remind his grandparents not to send fancy iMessages to him when OS 10 is released as he probably won't be able to see them. (guessing it'll be like when you have an older iOS version and can't see newer emojis, just get a blank rectangle)
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Jun 14, 2016, 01:34 PM
What does this shifting list mean? It means the in/out decision wasn't technical. That decision was made months ago when the tech specs were written. This decision was made by marketing based on how many older devices needed to be artificially obsoleted. Call that "follow the money." But marketing may be wrong. Premature obsolence encourages people to delay. As the unhappy posting before mine illustrates, waiting can be smart. It often means getting a model that isn't killed off as quickly. Over the long-term creating situations where people upgrade every four years rather than every three costs Apple long-term sales.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
Mike Wuerthele
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Jun 14, 2016, 01:58 PM
Yeah, you're wrong, Inkling. The iPad Mendoza line, for lack of a better term, where the population is split 50/50 is the iPhone 5s and iPad 4. If this was about forced obsolescence, and maximum device replacement, that's where the line would be, not where it got put. It got put at the A5.

This is the first forced obsolescence since iOS 7, and Mountain Lion. That was three and four years ago, respectively. iOS 9-limited devices won't burst into flames when iOS 10 ships.
Charles Martin
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Jun 14, 2016, 02:06 PM
Inkling: your theory is patent nonsense, to be frank. There is a difference with iOS devices and OS X devices: a quick glance at the Sierra compatibility list shows machines that are up to seven years old. For at least the second major cycle in a row.

Since iOS devices are designed to be upgraded every two years (the length of the average US contract -- not something under Apple's control), the fact that support stretches back to 2012's iPhone 5 -- that's four years ago -- suggests that in fact Apple is working to *extend* the life of typical iPhones, rather than shorten them: exactly the opposite of your incorrect premise.

In short, you appear to be confusing Apple with Google -- it is *Android* phones that are *deliberately* obsoleted by carriers after two years or less. For those of us who actually pay attention to this, it seems very clear that Apple's marketing re-used the previous iOS compatibility list on an assumption that was then corrected by engineering. Apple dropped the A5-era devices because it would not be able to run iOS 10 well enough to provide a good experience -- and that's why the fifth-gen iPod touch was dropped (not to mention its a dead product walking).

Not that the truth fits in with your pre-conceived narrative ...
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
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