iOS 7 was released last week at Apple's annual WWDC 2013 conference in California, to much aplomb from developers, critics, and tech bloggers and journalists. But, Apple — despite calling out Android during WWDC 2013 for fragmentation (which is when certain Android phones can't be updated to the most recent OS update due to screen size limitation) — has fragmentation too. A number of still-popular iOS devices won't be able to run a lot of the features on iOS 7. The iPhone 5 will be able to run every new features, but the 4S and 4 didn't get so lucky. Here's what features you can use on iOS 7.
As you can see from the chart above (obtained from The Apple Lounge), iPhone 4 users certainly got overlooked. iPhone 4 users already didn't get access to Siri and Panorama Camera view, released in iOS 5 and 6 respectively. The iPhone 4 won't get Instagram-like Camera filters on their operating system either. Now, iPhone 4 users won't get access to Airdrop — a feature that lets you easily send files to people sharing your network.
That being said, iPhone 4S users won't get Airdrop either. It seems like that's a feature reserved for iPhone 5 and potential iPhone 5S users — the rumored iPhone that may or may not be released in the Fall of 2013.
The question remains: why does Apple continue to limit older phones? There are probably a few reasons for this, but one of them is definitely the refresh schedule Apple seemingly runs on. Since Apple releases a phone (on average) at least once a year, older iPhone 4 users may be compelled to purchase a new iPhone 5S when it's released in the Fall. iPhone 4 users will definitely have a 2-year upgrade to use and so will most iPhone 4S users who purchased the 4S when it was released 2 Septembers ago. Now, users can update their iPhones in September and get all of the benefits of iOS 7 and whatever hardware updates Apple's been planning for the iPhone 5S.
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