Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Why won’t Apple Intelligence work on older devices?

Apple; It aims to offer users a new artificial intelligence experience with iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia. This new technology is called Apple Intelligence and only works on the latest models. However, many users wonder why these features are not supported on older devices.

Apple Intelligence delivers personalized AI experiences across devices using large language models. Since these models run on the device, they protect the confidentiality of data and provide faster response times. However, this advanced technology can only be used in certain models due to high hardware requirements.

Which devices support Apple Intelligence?

Apple’s new artificial intelligence features are limited to iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models. Additionally, only Mac and iPad models with M1 or newer chips support Apple Intelligence. So, what is the reason behind these restrictions?

John Giannandrea, Apple’s head of artificial intelligence and machine learning, explained this on Daring Fireball’s The Talk Show Live From WWDC 2024. Giannandrea stated that running large language models on the device, that is, the “inference” process, requires a lot of computing power. This means that these models can only run effectively on the latest and most powerful hardware.

Giannandrea stated that it is theoretically possible to run these models on old devices, but the performance will be so low that it will not be practical for users. Therefore, modern hardware is needed for Apple Intelligence to work efficiently. The company’s marketing manager, Greg Joswiak, emphasized that this is not a strategy to increase new device sales.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s chief of software engineering, stated that bringing these new features to older devices is their initial goal, but the hardware required for Apple Intelligence is quite advanced. iPhone 15 Pro models use the A17 Pro chip equipped with a 16-core Neural Engine, and this chip can perform approximately 35 trillion operations per second. It is also a striking detail that all devices that support Apple Intelligence have at least 8 GB of RAM.

Although older devices do not support Apple Intelligence, they will be able to benefit from many other innovations coming with iOS 18. All iPhone models that support iOS 17 will be compatible with iOS 18. This means that even models such as the iPhone XR, released in 2018, can benefit from the new software.

Ultimately, Apple Intelligence’s high hardware requirements explain why this new technology only works on the latest devices. This is a necessary step to optimize user experience and maximize performance. However, many exciting features for Apple users continue to be offered with iOS 18.

Danish Kapoor