The Big iOS 10 Features That Aren’t Available on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c

| Quick Tip

You don’t need to be running the latest and greatest hardware to upgrade to iOS 10. In fact, Apple has continued its policy of relatively generous minimum hardware requirements, particularly when it comes to the iPhone, with all iPhone models dating back to 2012’s iPhone 5 eligible for the upgrade.

But just because you can technically install and run iOS 10 doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use all of its features. Obvious limitations like 3D Touch and Apple Pay aside, here are some of the iOS 10 features you’ll miss if you’re running the iPhone 5 or 5c.

Photos & Camera

iOS 10 includes a number of improvements for users to both capture and manage their photos. Unfortunately, due to hardware limitations, the iPhone 5 and 5c lack the ability to shoot in burst photo mode or slow-motion video mode in the Camera app.

ios 10 photos

The processing power required for new management features in the Photos app also means you’ll miss out on automatically generated albums like Memories, Scenes, Related, and People.

Voicemail Transcription

One of the cool new features in iOS 10 is automatic transcription of voicemail messages, allowing you to quickly get the gist of a message and determine the urgency of returning the call.

ios 10 voicemail transcription

If you’re on an iPhone 5 or 5c, however, this feature is unavailable, and you’ll have to continue actually listening to your voicemails if you want to know what the call was about.

Raise to Wake

This limitation is unique because iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners are also left out in the cold. iOS 10 introduces a whole new way to access and unlock your iPhone, and a big part of this new method is “Raise to Wake.”

Similar to the Apple Watch, users need to just lift their iPhone up slightly and the device will automatically activate the screen, allowing you to see the time and any pending notifications. But, as mentioned, this feature is only available for users with an iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 7.

Old iOS Features That Still Aren’t Available

There are a number of iOS features that aren’t new to iOS 10, but are still not available (and never will be, due to hardware limitations), on the iPhone 5 and 5c. Just to temper expectations in case users of these phones were hoping for a miracle in iOS 10, the missing features are:

  • Apple Pay
  • Night Shift
  • Safari Content Blockers
  • Pedometer
  • Metal
  • 3D Touch*
  • TouchID

*Although 3D touch is not available on any iPhone prior to the iPhone 6s, some actions which use 3D Touch in iOS 10, such as Screen Effects in Messages, can be accomplished on older iPhones with a “long press” instead.

You Should Probably Still Upgrade

Despite the absence of some key features, upgrading to iOS 10 is still a good idea for most users with a compatible device. Unlike some previous iOS updates, upgrading to iOS 10 doesn’t bring a huge performance hit on older iPhones compared to iOS 9.

ios 10 logo

You’ll also be able to take advantage of most of iOS 10’s new features — such as improved notifications, messaging, app management, maps, and more — while also receiving the latest security updates. Apple hasn’t always done a good job in the past when it comes to making sure that older phones run well on the latest version of iOS, but things are looking good so far when it comes to iOS 10.

3 Comments Add a comment

  1. Longtime 5c owner here. Not going to comment on the features that I can’t use for hardware reasons. When those become important enough, I’ll invest in a 7. In the meantime, I updated to IOS 10 and noticed some improvements. First it uses less space, so I suddenly have more memory. Second, some apps actually seem faster not slower. Most noted is messages. Texts go and arrive far faster than they used to, and the features new to messages are all available. In short, its very much worth the free upgrade even for we dinosaurs.

  2. daboulet

    You say that the iPhone 5 lacks the ability to shoot in in slow-motion mode. My iPhone 5 has been able to shoot in slow-motion mode ever since I bought it. I just tried it now and it definitely works with iOS 9.3.5. My iPhone 5 also has a (rather annoying) burst mode which shoots a bunch of photos in rapid succession if I hold my finger on the white “take a photo” button in the camera app.

    There is also a “Night Shift” mode in the “Display & Brightness” settings although I can’t say that I have ever tried it.

    There is also a pedometer of sorts in the sense that the Health app can tell me how many steps I have walked today. I’m not sure that it is very accurate (in other words, I have not checked to see how accurate it is or isn’t). Maybe there’s a better motion sensor on the newer phones which makes this count more accurate or better in some other way.

    You also say that the iPhone 5 doesn’t support TouchID which is also a bit strange since I have been using it for years on my iPhone 5.

    I believe that the other hardware limitations that you listed are correct.

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