iOS 18, Apple Intelligence Will Only Run on These Older iPhones

Jamshed AvariJun 11, 2024

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Math Notes will support Devanagari characters, but some features are limited to US English at launch.

Apple has just unveiled iOS 18, the next version of its iPhone operating system, which introduces all-new customisation options, a Passwords app, and plenty of improvements to Photos, Safari, Notes, Messages, and much more. The biggest news is of course Apple Intelligence, which uses Apple’s own version of AI to help you write better, create engaging images and emojis to share, get more useful responses from Siri, and much more. But can your current iPhone run all these features, or will you have to worry about upgrading? Here are all the current iPhones that can run iOS 18, and what we know so far about which features will be supported on older devices.

iOS 18 runs on iPhone XR and newer

The good news is that even the iPhone XR, which was a low-cost option released way back in 2018 along with the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, will be able to run at least the basic features of iOS 18. That means support for these models is guaranteed till at least next year, bringing their total lifespan up to at least seven years. Here is the complete list:

  • iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

  • iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

  • iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

  • iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

  • iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

  • iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini

  • iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

  • iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini

  • iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

  • iPhone 11

  • iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

  • iPhone XR

  • iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone SE (2022)

Apple Intelligence requires the latest hardware

However, there’s one huge exception - Apple Intelligence features will only work on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, which are based on the Apple A17 Pro SoC and have 8GB of RAM. The A17 Pro’s integrated Neural Engine is twice as powerful as that of the older Apple A16 SoC, which powers the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. These two phones also only have 6GB of RAM.

It is rumoured that Apple will design all members of the upcoming iPhone 16 family with enough power to run Apple Intelligence on-device, but there could still be differences in the level of supported functionality between Pro and non-Pro models. There have also been rumours of a new iPhone SE model launching early next year, which might not be powerful enough to run Apple Intelligence as a differentiating factor and to keep its cost low.

Additionally, only devices set to US English will be eligible when Apple Intelligence is first rolled out, that too as a beta, with the release of iOS 18 this fall. Additional languages and regions should be added over time. Users might be able to get an early preview when the public beta of iOS 18 is released in July.

Not all phones will be able to run all iOS 18 features

While all older iPhone models that can run iOS 18 will benefit from the latest security and stability updates, it looks as though several features will not be able to run on all of them. We can expect the basic home screen, lock screen and Control Centre customisation options to work across the entire stack of supported devices. The redesigned Photos app and expanded formatting options for Messages should also be available to all iOS 18 users.

Live voice transcription and auto summarisation of notes will only work on the iPhone 12 and later, and only in English in some regions (not including India) at launch. The same goes for Highlights and Summaries in Safari. Enhanced Dialogue in the Apple TV App requires an iPhone 11 or later. However, phone call recording and transcription will work with Indian English as well as several other languages.  

Interestingly, Math Notes will be available with commonly used Western Arabic as well as Devanagari numerals and symbols.  

Apple Maps’ latest features for topographic representation and hiking will only be applicable for the US at launch. Apple Cash is also dependent on a third-party service and is US-only for now.  

SMS and iMessage via satellite will only work with the iPhone 14 and later, which have the hardware needed to communicate with satellites. Hands-free Unlock using the Apple Home ecosystem and smart locks requires an iPhone 11 or later with Ultra Wideband hardware. Some accessibility features such as Eye Tracking and Music Haptics syncing will only work on the iPhone 12 onwards.

Features not coming to iOS 18 at launch time, but expected with subsequent updates, include the ability to sort emails into categories.

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