System Requirements for iOS 9: will your iDevice run it?

iOS9IconAlong with the announcement of OS X 10.11 ‘El Capitan,’ Apple announced the next version of iOS for its mobile devices. As with El Capitan, iOS 9 promises to bring greatly improved battery life and speed to systems, along with a number of service enhancements; however, you may be wondering whether or not your iOS device can handle it.

Here is a full list of iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices that will be compatible with the new version of iOS:

  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3
  • iPad 4th generation
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini 2
  • iPad Mini 3
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPod Touch 5th generation

To see what device you have, connect it to your Mac or paired Windows PC, and then select the device in iTunes. In the Summary tab, note the iPhone model at the top of the page.

iOS device model number in iTunes

Selecting your iOS device in iTunes will show you its model number.

Even with this list, however, there will be some services that may not run on some devices. For instance, Apple’s new multi-tasking and split-screen options were announced on and are being advertised for the iPad Air 2 and more recent devices, leaving out earlier models such as the iPad 2 and 3.

In addition, as was the case with iOS 8, while some features of the new OS look slick and smooth, do not expect them to be so on older hardware. Even though the iPad 2 supports and runs iOS 8, it does have quite notable lag at times. iOS 9 is supposed to somewhat address this performance issue so those who have iOS 8 installed may see a benefit from going to iOS 9, but even so, do not expect it to revamp your old iPad.

As with the current release, even with the performance improvements slated for iOS 9, you might still need to eek out better performance on older devices by turning off extra eye candy and features that you do not use.

3 thoughts on “System Requirements for iOS 9: will your iDevice run it?

    1. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

      One man’s bloatware is another man’s essential app. The problem with Apple software the iDevices, as I understand it, is that you cannot remove the ones you don’t use. That’s the crux of the problem.

      1. Laird Popkin

        You can remove almost all of Apple’s big apps: iTunes U, Pages, Keynote, Garage Band, iMovie, etc The only ones you can’t remove at the (fairly small) ones that come in the OS – Mail, Messages, Settings, iTunes Store, App Store, etc., which are there to provide fundamental capabilities Apple doesn’t want to risk people losing by accident. Imagine the support implications of letting people delete Settings, for example.

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