Can my iPhone and iPad get iOS 11? I want to make the update but I don't know if my Apple devices are too old to run the new software.

Apple took to the stage at WWDC 2017 to show off iOS 11, and with the unveiling of the new mobile operating system came the announcement about which iPhones, iPads and iPods will be able to install the public version when it's released in the autumn. (This will also apply to which devices can install the various beta versions of 11 in the meantime.)

Apple isn't just being mean when it declares that iPhone X or iPad Y is not allowed to install a new version of iOS. It's acknowledging the reality that hardware gets slower as it ages, and software gets more and more demanding for devices to run: so a phone that was state-of-the-art five years ago is unlikely to be able to run the latest software now. Indeed, in the past we have sometimes found that borderline cases - devices that only just sneak into the list - are able to install the new OS but struggle to run it well, and run a bit slower than with the previous version of iOS.

This year the axe has fallen on the iPad 4, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c. These devices will not be permitted to install iOS 11.

Here's a list of every Apple device that supports iOS 11:

  • iPad Air 1, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro (12.9, 2015), iPad Pro (9.7), iPad 2017, iPad Pro (10.5), iPad Pro (12.9, 2017)
  • iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4
  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPod touch (sixth generation)

So if you've got an iPad Air 1 or later, an iPad mini 2 or later, an iPhone 5s or later, or a sixth-generation iPod touch, you can get iOS 11, for free, when it launches in the autumn. Or you can get the iOS 11 beta now.

This compares with the following list of devices which are compatible with iOS 10:

  • iPad 4, iPad Air 1, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad Pro 12.9-inch
  • iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4
  • iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE
  • iPod touch (sixth generation)