When Apple develops the next version of iOS, it does so specifically with the next, latest iPhone model in mind. Every feature is designed for the new device. Devices that are up to four and five years old will still get the new version however they don’t get all the features. For example, on iOS 10, only users with a 3D touch device could change the brightness of the flashlight but the feature has been extended to all devices in iOS 11. On iOS 11, Apple added a trackpad feature which, again, was only for 3D touch devices but iOS 12 changes that. You can finally use trackpad on non-3D touch iPhones with iOS 12.
Note: iOS 12 is still in beta. Users can try it out by joining Apple’s public beta program. The stable version of iOS 12 will roll out to users in September/October 2018.
Trackpad On Non-3D Touch iPhones
The trackpad feature on non-3D touch iPhones is limited; you can’t use the two finger tap gestures but you can control the cursor with the space bar.
To use the trackpad feature open an app that lets you bring up the keyboard e.g., the Messages app. Tap and hold on the space bar. The keyboard keys will all go blank. Swipe slowly on the space bar to move the cursor through the text in the input field. That’s about all it does for now.
This feature makes it easier for users to jump to a spot on the typed text. Before, users had to tap on the text and bring up the little magnification bubble and drag their finger across the text to position the cursor. It is clumsy to select text like this. This feature is still there in iOS 12 so if you liked it, you’re not losing anything.
This is of course good news for anyone with an older iPhone. Apple may sell a record number of iPhones every year but that doesn’t mean everyone gets one. A lot of people still make do with old devices and only upgrade when their phone has slowed down too much, or it is no longer updated. That means they don’t get a lot of the new features that the newest version comes with and some of them are pretty good. It’s good that Apple is doing this. The jailbreak community is always coming up with tweaks that make up for features like this e.g., there is a tweak that can add 3D touch to the iPhone 6/6Plus.