What iPads are still supported?

What iPads are still supported?


Keeping track of which iPad models are still supported by Apple can be crucial for ensuring a smooth and secure user experience. This article provides an overview of the iPad models that continue to receive software updates and support from Apple.

Which iPad models are currently supported?

Apple provides software updates and support for a range of iPad models. Here’s a breakdown of the supported models:

  1. iPadOS 15 Support:
    • iPad Pro (1st to 5th generation): This includes various models with different screen sizes (9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, 11-inch, and 12.9-inch).
    • iPad Air (2nd to 4th generation): These models feature a 10.5-inch or 10.9-inch display.
    • iPad (5th to 9th generation): The regular iPad with a 9.7-inch or 10.2-inch screen size.
  2. Devices Without iPadOS 15 Support:
    • iPad Mini (1st to 5th generation): The older iPad Mini models, ranging from the original 7.9-inch version to the 7.9-inch Retina display models.
    • iPad 4th generation and earlier: These include various models with different screen sizes (9.7-inch, 7.9-inch, etc.).

How does Apple’s support policy impact older iPad models in terms of software updates?

Apple’s support policy has a significant impact on older iPad models, particularly in terms of software updates. Generally, Apple provides software updates for a range of iPad models, typically spanning several generations. However, as time progresses, older models gradually phase out of this update cycle. For example, the 1st generation iPad, released in 2010, and the 2nd generation, released in 2011, are no longer included in the list of supported devices. More recent models like the 6th, 7th, and 10th generation iPads still receive the latest software updates, including new features and security patches. This ensures that users with relatively recent devices can continue to enjoy a modern and secure computing experience.

As iPad technology advances, Apple allocates its development resources towards optimizing software features for more recent and capable hardware. This means that older models may not be able to handle the demands of the latest software updates, leading to reduced performance or potential compatibility issues. This is why certain generations of iPads eventually become classified as “obsolete” by Apple, meaning they no longer receive any software support. It’s important for users to be aware of this when considering whether to upgrade their device to a newer model, as doing so can provide access to the latest features and security updates that are no longer available on older, unsupported iPads.

How often does Apple update iPadOS, and for long do they provide security updates for older versions?

Apple typically releases major updates for iPadOS on an annual basis, usually in the fall. These updates introduce a range of new features, improvements, and enhancements to the operating system, designed to optimize performance and provide users with the latest functionality. However, not all iPad models are compatible with every new version of iPadOS. As a result, older generations may eventually reach a point where they no longer receive these major updates. For instance, the 6th generation iPad and the 1st generation iPad Air reached their final iPadOS version at iPadOS 15, indicating that they will no longer receive major feature updates beyond this point.

Regarding security updates, Apple has a strong commitment to user privacy and security. Even when major feature updates are no longer available for certain older iPad models, Apple continues to provide security updates for a period of time. The duration of this support can vary, but it’s generally several years beyond the last major update. This ensures that users can still enjoy a safe and secure experience on their older devices, even if they may not have access to the latest features. Eventually, as hardware limitations and technological advancements progress, some older models may be deemed “obsolete” and no longer receive these critical security patches. This underscores the importance of keeping an eye on Apple’s support policies and considering upgrades as necessary to ensure a safe and up-to-date user experience.

Are there any performance considerations for older iPads running the latest software?

Yes, there are performance considerations for older iPads running the latest software. While Apple does its best to optimize its operating systems for a wide range of devices, older models may experience some level of slowdown when running the latest software. This is because newer software versions are designed with the capabilities and specifications of the latest hardware in mind. For example, the 6th generation iPad and the 1st generation iPad Air, being some of the earlier models, might not have the same processing power or memory as more recent generations, such as the 10th generation iPad or the 2nd generation iPad Pro. As a result, they may struggle to keep up with the demands of the latest software features, leading to slower performance.

Additionally, as iPads age, they may face limitations due to hardware constraints. Newer software updates may introduce more demanding features and capabilities that older models might not be equipped to handle efficiently. This can manifest in slower app loading times, delays in executing tasks, and a generally less snappy user experience. It’s important for users of older iPads to be aware of these potential performance issues when considering whether to upgrade to the latest software or, in some cases, to assess whether it may be time to consider upgrading to a more modern iPad model for a smoother and more responsive user experience.