One of the key new features of iOS 11 is ARKit with which Apple is bringing native AR support to iOS. The company did not specifically show any new features in iOS 11 that took advantage of ARKit, but the very addition of ARKit to iOS will allow many apps to offer a richer and better experience (like Pokemon Go).
By adding ARKit support to iOS, Apple has made it possible for millions of people worldwide to experience augmented reality without having to invest in any additional hardware. Developers will likely start releasing apps that take advantage of ARKit on the App Store later this year, and if early demos are anything to go by, they are going to be pretty impressive as well.
What Apple did not mention during its announcement of ARKit is that it will only be supported by selected iPhones and iPads. The way Apple put it in its presentation, it looked like ARKit support was coming to all iOS devices that will be getting the iOS 11 update. However, that is not the case as only selected iPhones will be supporting ARKit when iOS 11 drops later this year. This includes all iOS devices that are powered by Apple’s A9 or A10 chip. This means that ARKit will only work on the following devices:
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPad Pro (All three variants and models)
- New 9.7-inch iPad (2017)
It does make sense for Apple to only support selected iPhones and iPads for ARKit since the framework requires a lot of processing power which older A8 powered iOS devices clearly lack. Nonetheless, Apple should have been clear that ARKit support is not coming to all iPhones and iPads with iOS 11 later this year.