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These iPhones might miss out on iOS 16

We're getting rather excited about the expected release of iOS 16 later this year, most likely after WWDC 2022 in June. iOS 15 was hardly the most exciting iPhone update, offering us little more than an improved Notification Centre, redesigned Safari and a few Memoji options (and who uses them?). Rumours suggest iOS 16 will offer a more convincing improvement, possibly introducing interactive widgets, quick action shortcuts from the lock screen and new health-tracking features.

But it seems not everyone using the current version of the operating system will get it. The latest rumours suggest that three phones currently supported by iOS 15 won't be in line for the next major software update. So who's going to miss out? According to the latest rumour, the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and the 2016 iPhone SE 2016 – all of which can run iOS 15.4 – probably won't get iOS 16. If you have one of those, you might want to see our iPhone SE (2022) review and our iPhone 13 review to start considering an upgrade.

iPhone 6S

The iPhone 6S has had a good life (Image credit: Future / Apple)

The news appears in iDrop News (opens in new tab) courtesy of LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab), a regular for Apple tipoffs. What he says tallies with a rumour shared by iPhoneSoft (opens in new tab) last year. And as disappointing as it might be for some, it does make sense. 

It was a pleasant surprise that Apple rolled out iOS 15 across all iPhones that were running iOS 14, not leaving anyone by the wayside. But with iOS getting bigger and more powerful – and needing increasing amounts of storage and computing capacity, it was unlikely that Apple would continue to be so generous. The iPhone 6S and the first iPhone SE will be seven and six years old later this year, so they've had fairly respectable innings for software updates – certainly better than most Android phones.

Rumoured iOS 16 widgets

It's rumoured that iOS 16 will introduce a widget of widgets, currently dubbed InfoShack (Image credit: LeaksApplePro / iDrop News)

What will they miss out on? LeaksApplePro claims that there's a 60 to 70% chance that iOS 16 will see the addition on InfoShack – Apple's internal name for a big widget that's expected to include other, interactive widgets. There's also a chance we'll get quick action shortcuts that can be used from the lock screen as well as some small improvements to the Files and Reminders apps and some visual and algorithmic improvements to the Music app. Other leaks have suggested there will also be some new health-tracking features. As for what we'd like to see, this YouTuber's iOS 16 concept is an exciting look at just how versatile the iPhone could be – if Apple wanted.

Of course, it's not the end of the world for iPhone 6S users. You'll still be able to use your phone running iOS 15.4, but you may take this as a sign that it's time to upgrade if you don't want to miss out on new features. It's also worth remembering that even having the latest version of iOS doesn't necessarily mean you get all of its features either. With iOS 15. phones older than the iPhone XR and iPhone XS missed out on features like Live Text and Spatial Audio in FaceTime. Luckily, we're keeping tabs on the best iPhone prices. See our roundup of the best iPhone 13 deals or check out the best current prices below.

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Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.