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Which iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models fully support iOS 7? For models that "partially" support iOS 7, which features are and are not supported?
Please note that iOS 8 is the current version of the iOS. However, the below Q&A has been updated subsequently and is quite useful for anyone who is running or who wants to run iOS 7 on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
On June 10, 2013, Apple announced iOS 7. It was formally supplanted by iOS 8 on September 17, 2014.
Buried at the end of promo copy about "hundreds of great new features" including "Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking [for all apps], AirDrop, enhanced Photos, Safari, Siri and iTunes Radio," Apple states that only the then currently shipping iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models -- as well as the slightly older iPad 3rd Gen models -- are supported by the operating system. Some subsequently introduced devices were supported, as well.
However, as Apple quietly notes in fine print, particular iOS 7 feature support varies even among these devices.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (iPhone 5 with iOS 7 Installed)
Earlier iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models -- as well as some later models -- are not supported at all. For most users of older devices, this is unlikely to come as a great surprise or concern, although it may have been upsetting to those who had recently purchased the iPod touch 4th Gen (A1367) model, which was sold as new a mere eleven days before iOS 7 was announced. Caveat emptor.
If you're not sure which iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad you have, these models can be identified externally by Model Number for the purpose of determining iOS 7 compatibility. The model number is listed in small type on the back of each device toward the bottom and looks like A1428.
Specifically, these devices fully or partially support iOS 7:
If your device has a model number that isn't listed in the chart above, it is not supported by iOS 7. Older iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models only have 128 MB or 256 MB of RAM, and Apple may have determined that iOS 7 operation is not possible, or at least performance is unacceptable, on devices with less than 512 MB of RAM. More recent iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models, likewise, only run a newer version of the iOS.
Although the numbers above are sufficient for determining compatibility with iOS 7, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models also can be identified in software by Order Number. The order number is referred to as "Model" within the iOS "Settings" app under General > About.
Everyi.com's Ultimate iLookup feature -- as well as the EveryMac app for iOS 5 or later and Android -- can identify these devices by the model numbers above, order numbers from around the world, and by device Serial Numbers, too.
All of the below iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models fully support Control Center, Notification Center, and Multitasking, as well as Safari and iTunes Radio.
For the remaining major features, support varies accordingly:
|iPad 3rd Gen||No||No†||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|iPad 4th Gen||Yes||No†||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|iPad mini 2||Yes||No†||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|iPod touch 5th||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
* This refers to a handful of more advanced photo functionality that Apple formally calls "square and video formats and swipe to capture."
** Siri and Panorama are not supported on the iPhone 4 or iPad 2 with any iOS version.
† Panorama is not supported on any iPad model running iOS 6, either.
iOS 7 Compatibility Summary
Ultimately, iOS 7 is fully compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, and iPod touch 5th Gen models. It also is fully compatible with the iPad 4th Gen, iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad mini 2nd Gen models with the exception of the Panorama and "In Camera" Filters functionality (which is a lot like Instagram).
Perhaps Apple thinks tourists taking photos with the iPad looks excessively goofy and is trying to discourage the practice, as there is no technical reason for this omission. For those who want to be able to take panoramic photos with an iPad (and don't mind looking a bit awkward), the third-party Cycloramic app adds the capability in addition to a variety of photo filters.