There is bad news for those with an iPhone released in 2014 or earlier: it is not possible to install iOS 13 on these handsets. The same goes for iPad models from 4 years ago; they cannot be upgraded to the new iPadOS.
Still, all Apple phones and tablets released in the past 4 years are getting upgrades.
WWDC brings new operating systems to most devices
Apple unveiled these two new operating systems during today’s WWDC 2019 keynote. iOS 13 brings Dark Mode, along with significant improvements to the Maps app, a revamped Photos app, and more. iPadOS lets iPad apps open multiple windows, plus there’s a home screen redesign, huge File app improvements, and more.
What did not catch the attention of Tim Cook and co. are the older devices that have been deemed sufficiently obsolete that they do not have access to these new versions of the system software.
Devices left out include the original iPhone 6 and iPad Air. The handset came out in 2014 and the tablet in 2013, so it’s hard to argue that Apple pushed them out prematurely. Naturally, any model introduced before these cannot be upgraded either, like the iPhone 5S. The iPad mini 3 also came out in 2014, and it didn’t make the cut either.
Apple never explains exactly why the products don’t benefit from operating system upgrades, but they’re almost always very old devices with relatively slow processors. The iPhone 6, for example, only has a 1.4 GHz dual-core chip. For comparison, last year’s iPhone XS sports a 2.49 GHz 6-core processor.
IPhone models that support iOS 13
According to Apple, the following handsets can all be upgraded to iOS 13 when it becomes available later this year:
iPhone XS Max
iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 6s Plus
iPod touch (7th generation)
IPad models that support iPadOS 13
All Apple tablets released in the past few years can be upgraded to the operating system announced today. This is heavily based on iOS 13, so Apple calls this version iPadOS 13.