Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 17, was highly anticipated by iPhone users around the world. iOS 17 brings exciting new features like customizable lock screens, enhancements to Messages and Mail apps, and major improvements to Maps. However, shortly after its release on September 12, 2023, users discovered that iOS 17 is not compatible with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models that were released just a year prior.
This incompatibility has caused frustration and confusion among iPhone 14 Pro users who were expecting to upgrade to the latest iOS version. In this article, we will explore the reasons why iOS 17 is Not Compatible with iPhone 14 Pro, look at Apple’s history of ending iOS updates for older iPhones, summarize the key features in iOS 17, and provide advice for iPhone 14 Pro users going forward.
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Reasons for Incompatibility
There are a few technical reasons why iOS 17 is not supported on the iPhone 14 Pro line:
The iPhone 14 Pro models contain the A16 Bionic chip, whereas iOS 17 is optimized for the newest A17 Bionic chip available in the iPhone 15 line. The A17 provides faster processing speeds and improved power efficiency. iOS 17 is designed to take advantage of these upgrades, which means it cannot fully function on older iPhone processors like the A16.
Missing Features in iPhone 14 Pro Cameras
The iPhone 15 line contains upgraded camera hardware for features like Photonic Engine, Action Mode, and improvements to the selfie camera. iOS 17 is built to leverage these camera advancements, several of which are not available in the iPhone 14 Pro models. So iOS 17 does not work properly with the iPhone 14 Pro cameras.
Focus on New iPhone 15 Capabilities
iOS 17 puts a lot of emphasis on features exclusive to the iPhone 15, like satellite emergency SOS messaging, crash detection, and Always-On display. Since the iPhone 14 Pro lacks the hardware for these functions, iOS 17 is not designed to run well on those devices.
Apple’s History of Ending Support for Older iPhones
Apple’s decision to cut off iOS 17 from the iPhone 14 Pro follows a pattern they have established over the years. Typically, Apple provides about 5-6 years of software updates for each iPhone model before ending support. Looking at a few examples:
- iPhone 6s (2015): Last supported by iOS 13 (2019)
- iPhone 7 (2016): Last supported by iOS 15 (2021)
- iPhone 8 (2017): Will last be supported by iOS 17 (2023)
Based on this timeline, it is reasonable that the iPhone 14 Pro released in 2022 would no longer be supported by iOS 17 just a year later. While inconvenient for iPhone 14 Pro users, Apple wants to encourage upgrading to its latest devices to utilize all the newest features.
Key New Features in iOS 17
Although iPhone 14 Pro users cannot enjoy iOS 17 yet, it is still helpful to understand what exciting new capabilities they are missing out on for now:
- Customizable lock screens – New wallpapers, fonts, colors, and depth effects to personalize your lock screen
- Enhanced Messages – Ability to edit, unsend, and mark conversations as unread in Messages
- Mail updates – Schedule emails to send later, cancel email delivery, and get reminders to follow up
- Major Maps improvements – More detailed maps, multi-stop routing, transit updates in real-time
- Fitness app enhancements – Improved Workout Views, Heart Rate Zones, and Medication Logging
- Wallet and Home app updates – IDs and keys in Wallet, redesigned Home architecture
- Quality of life improvements – Haptic keyboard, customizable sleep screen, lift to wake
While many of these features are exclusive to newer iPhones, iPhone 14 Pro users will need to wait until next year’s iOS 18 update to access these functionalities.
Advice for iPhone 14 Pro Users
For iPhone 14 Pro owners who want access to all the latest iOS capabilities now, purchasing one of the new iPhone 15 models is the best option. Trade-in deals from Apple and carriers can help offset some of the cost.
However, for iPhone 14 Pro users who prefer to wait until their hardware is paid off, there are still ways to get strong functionality:
- Stay on iOS 16 – Continuing to use iOS 16 will allow you to keep a secure, feature-rich operating system. Most apps will still support iOS 16 for the foreseeable future.
- Regularly install security updates – Make sure to keep your iPhone 14 Pro protected by downloading important security patches that Apple will continue releasing.
- Wait for iOS 18 next year – The next annual update after iOS 17 will likely be compatible with iPhone 14 Pro again, so you’ll just have to wait it out for another year.
- Trade it in for iPhone 15 next year – When ready to upgrade, trading in an iPhone 14 Pro towards an iPhone 15 will be much more cost-effective after a year of ownership compared to now.
While iOS 17 excludes iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max devices, there are still great options for these users until the hardware catches up again. Following some of these tips will help ease the wait until your iPhone is able to upgrade to the latest iOS capabilities again.
The release of iOS 17 without iPhone 14 Pro support has frustrated users who expected at least one more year of compatibility. However, Apple has set the precedent of ending iOS updates for iPhones around 5-6 years old. The iPhone 14 Pro’s A16 chip, camera hardware limitations, and lack of new iPhone 15 exclusive features like satellite SOS are the key technical reasons iOS 17 does not work on those devices.
For iPhone 14 Pro owners, continuing to use iOS 16, staying up-to-date on security patches, and waiting for iOS 18 next year are the best options until you are ready to upgrade to an iPhone 15. While the lack of compatibility is inconvenient in the short-term, Apple’s strategy ensures that the latest iOS capabilities are fully optimized for the newest iPhones. So in most cases, upgrading hardware is necessary to reap the benefits of Apple’s latest software innovations.