The Real System Requirements for Apple’s 2023 Operating Systems

Originally published at: The Real System Requirements for Apple’s 2023 Operating Systems - TidBITS

Apple’s upcoming operating systems have broad hardware support, but devils dance in the details. Macs and iPhones from 2017 fall by the wayside this year, though a few 2017-era iPads soldier on. Older devices that are generally compatible won’t be able to take advantage of all the new features. Read on to find out what your devices will support.

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A very comprehensive and useful article - thank you. It turns out that many of my Apple devices are not compatible but I am not in a hurry to replace them.

Uh, “It supports every iPhone model released since 2018…”. Well, no it does not. Looks like ONLY 11s and up.

Screen Sharing Enhanced Performance: Mac
… but that improvement relies on the advanced media engine in Macs with Apple silicon.

Any idea whether the Apple Silicon requirement applies to both the screen sharing server and client, or just the server? The latter seems logical. Footnote 1 on this page does not clarify:

Ah, yes, the never-ending OS upgrade/Mac obsolescence juggernaut. This is the downside of Apple’s being both a hardware and software company. They have to sell new hardware, which necessitates revamping the OS. I’m mostly happy with High Sierra, but third-parties like Google Chrome have now dropped support. I just don’t want to do an OS “upgrade” and lose functionality of older apps I depend on daily that can’t be replaced. And I really don’t need the headline feature in Sonoma – iOS widgets on the desktop. Puhleeze! Give it a rest, Apple.


I see it the same way, although I have an M1 MacBook Pro that runs the latest OS, I still keep my Early 2009 iMac running with a SSD. It’s on EL Capitan as it won’t run anything newer without modification. I don’t want to change it as it runs perfectly good older apps that still do the job.

Thanks, bobwigg. My maxed-out 2013 “trashcan” Mac Pro can handle up to Ventura, but I tried Mojave briefly and it promptly killed a functionality I rely on heavily. I shudder to think what even more “advanced” upgrades would do, so back to High Sierra.

Sorry, but where do you get that information? Apple is extremely clear that the iPhone XR/XS/XS Max and the iPhone SE (2nd generation and later) are supported.

No idea, but I could imagine it being both, if the “advanced media engine” is needed for both compression and decompression of the screen video.

I think that’s unfair. Apple creates new features in both hardware and software to push the envelope of what’s possible in hardware and then take advantage of those capabilities in software. Just because you’re not interested in new features doesn’t mean that millions of other users won’t be extremely happy to have them.

If you don’t want to upgrade, don’t—there’s no harm in sticking with old stuff (well, apart from compatibility with the modern world and potential security vulnerabilities). But please don’t complain that the world has moved on from a 6-year-old operating system that ran on Macs that are now 14 years old.


I think the point is that older hardware could still function adequately, if up-to date versions of web browser and email apps continued to be supported with only security updates. Many of us do not need the new features of a current OS. I’m sure security patches could still be made to work with older OSs, but it won’t happen. It always comes down to $$$$.

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Fair enough. Thank you, Adam. And thank you for TidBits. I do agree with the reply by bobwigg761 below, however.

Exactly. Thank you!

Or maybe it’s just Human Resources? Not enough people to provide patches for anything older than three years, considering what else Apple employees work on?

My guess is the underlying assumption is that if you have $250B in the bank you should be able to hire another 100 engineers if indeed that were what it takes.

That said, I’m pretty certain this doesn’t boil down to anything else than a higher-level decision at Apple corporate along the lines of “we just don’t want to do it, period”. Arguing that it can’t be done, that it’s technically difficult, or too excessive in terms of burden doesn’t convince me, but I will also readily state that they are IMHO justified in making that decision. It’s their compnay and their investment. They get to choose what to invest in. If they think preserving legacy systems and increasing longevity is not worth their while, that’s their prerogative. I perhaps don’t agree with that decision, but I do not question their right to making it. I do object, however, to arguments attempting to frame this as a technical issue rather than a plain and simple business decision.

Another issue is that working on ancient systems will not improve a worker’s future employment and advancement prospects.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: Using a 27-inch iMac as a display

I looked into this when I was saying goodbye to my old iMac. I will say that people have done it, but it takes a lot of technical knowledge, patience and probably not worth the cost. Better to pass the iMac on and buy a monitor.

Thanks, your right that is a lot more work than I want to do. I was hoping I could simply mirror a new Mac Mini on the iMac.

Let’s reframe the problem with OS upgrades. Most of us like new OS features, and we certainly enjoy new hardware when we can afford it.
The issue is not whether a corporation has the right to upgrade OS and hardware. The issue is lost functionality. When software on which one’s living depends—or in which one has invested large amounts of time entering/shaping/creating data—stops being able to run on newer OSs, we have a problem. And it’s a problem if security problems aren’t patched. That’s the way I read pOh5wiN4Ae’s post.

The problem isn’t Apple, specifically. We have a general dissatisfaction, even anger, at tech companies who leave us stuck without alternatives. For example, Adobe never finished Encore (their DVD software), and Apple didn’t make DVD Studio Pro a part of their move of Final Cut Pro to X (no DVD Studio X), which forces the industry to maintain old machines, the only hardware which can run Snow Leopard which is required to run DVDSP. I can run Snow Leopard in a virtual machine, but only on Intel hardware. As time goes by, more and more people have such stories to tell.

We don’t hate updates. Give us something that can do what we could do before, and stop whittling away at our capabilities. New features don’t make up for lost functionality; bosses need our work, and they have little patience with excuses.


The other frustrating issue is that systems that are running older OS suddenly stop working with Apple services.
For example my partner’s 2015 Retina Macbook was running Mojave (and able to run several legacy apps). One morning it gave an error message about signing into iCloud - apparently a clash between iCloud settings and “internet accounts” settings.
After many hours trying to fix it I took the Mac to the local Genius Bar. Eventually they suggested updating the OS to Monterey. This fixed the iCloud problem but we have lost the ability to run some useful 32-bit apps.
This sort of issue has also arisen with simple features such as Reminders, where older Macs are unable to access the service if users “upgrade” to the latest format.
I am dreading the day when Homekit must be “upgraded” and no longer works with numerous accessories or older OS.


Sorry, looks like my 6s was shipped a few years prior to 2018. My bad.