What iOS version is compatible with Apple Music?

Apple Music is Apple’s music streaming service that allows users to access a library of over 75 million songs. It is available across Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, HomePod and CarPlay. Since its launch in 2015, Apple Music has gone through several iterations with varying levels of iOS compatibility. So what iOS versions can use Apple Music?

iOS 8.4

Apple Music first became available with the release of iOS 8.4 on June 30, 2015. This marked the debut of Apple’s streaming music service. iOS 8.4 was the minimum iOS version required to run Apple Music at launch. Devices running iOS 8.3 or lower could not access Apple Music.

At the time of its launch, Apple Music was compatible with:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPod touch (5th generation)
  • iPad 2
  • iPad (3rd generation)
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini (1st generation)
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini 3

Essentially, iOS 8.4 opened up Apple Music for any device capable of running iOS 8. This gave a large base of users immediate access to Apple’s new streaming music platform.

iOS 9

Apple Music continued to be compatible with iOS 9 which was released on September 16, 2015. iOS 9 did not change the minimum requirements for Apple Music. It continued to be accessible on devices running iOS 8.4 and later.

iOS 9 did bring some new features that enhanced the Apple Music experience including:

  • Integration with Siri – Users could ask Siri to play songs from Apple Music.
  • New MiniPlayer – The redesigned MiniPlayer made it easier to navigate Apple Music and switch between songs.
  • Shuffle buttons -Playlist and album shuffle buttons were added to make randomized playback simpler.

While iOS 9 did not alter Apple Music’s availability, it did improve some aspects of the service through deeper integration and user experience upgrades.

iOS 10

iOS 10 was released on September 13, 2016 and continued support for Apple Music as well. By this point, Apple Music was firmly established as an iOS staple. As such, the minimum requirements remained unchanged – iOS 8.4 or later.

Notable Apple Music enhancements in iOS 10 included:

  • Lyrics integration – Lyrics could be viewed in real-time as songs played.
  • Redesigned Music app – Navigation was overhauled with separate tabs for Library, For You, Browse, Radio, and Search.
  • Queue management – Up Next feature allowed easy reordering of the queue.

While Apple Music compatibility stayed the same, iOS 10 represented a major step forward in terms of refining the user experience and adding handy features like lyrics display.

iOS 11

iOS 11 was released on September 19, 2017. This marked the end of compatibility for devices that could not be upgraded beyond iOS 10. As a result, Apple Music was no longer accessible on:

  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad mini (1st generation)

These older device models topped out at iOS 10 and were left behind with the iOS 11 release. However, Apple Music continued to be available on devices running iOS 8.4 and later that could be upgraded to iOS 11.

Key Apple Music features introduced in iOS 11 included:

  • Redesigned Radio tab
  • Integration with e-books on iPad
  • Daily curated playlists
  • Friends Mix playlist based on friends’ music tastes

While iOS 11 trimmed some older devices from Apple Music support, it expanded the service’s capabilities across compatible iPhones and iPads.

iOS 12

iOS 12 arrived on September 17, 2018. It retained compatibility with Apple Music on devices running iOS 8.4 through iOS 11 that could be upgraded to iOS 12.

Noteworthy Apple Music changes on iOS 12 included:

  • Improved Siri voice
  • Siri search by lyrics
  • Expanded artist pages
  • Enhanced artist radio stations

Subtle improvements aside, iOS 12 upheld the existing requirements for Apple Music. Devices not upgradable to iOS 12 lost access, but a wide device range continued to be supported.

iOS 13

With the launch of iOS 13 on September 19, 2019, Apple Music remained accessible on devices running iOS 8.4 to iOS 12 that could upgrade to iOS 13. However, iOS 13 did trim some older devices:

  • iPhone 6 series
  • iPhone SE
  • iPad Air series
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch (6th generation)

While these devices supported Apple Music previously, their inability to upgrade to iOS 13 meant the service was no longer available. Nonetheless, Apple Music could still be used on a wide array of newer iOS devices.

Key improvements to Apple Music in iOS 13 included:

  • Time-synced lyrics
  • Overhauled artist pages
  • New Listen Now tab
  • Enhanced Music downloads interface

iOS 13 delivered meaningful enhancements while keeping Apple Music widely accessible across modern iOS devices.

iOS 14

With the release of iOS 14 on September 16, 2020, Apple Music remained available on devices running iOS 8.4 to iOS 13 that could be upgraded to iOS 14. The service’s extensive device support continued.

Useful changes arriving with Apple Music on iOS 14 included:

  • Autoplay music videos
  • Listening history
  • Improved search filters
  • Enhanced Made For You recommendations

iOS 14 upheld the broad iOS compatibility that Apple Music had retained for years while introducing some handy new music features.

iOS 15

iOS 15 was launched on September 20, 2021. Devices capable of upgrading from iOS 8.4 through iOS 14 to iOS 15 maintained access to Apple Music.

Key Apple Music enhancements in iOS 15 consisted of:

  • Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos
  • Lossless Audio
  • Share playlists via Messages
  • View most played artists

The arrival of Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio marked a major leap in Apple Music sound quality. Meanwhile, wider device support persisted.

iOS 16

With iOS 16 rolling out on September 12, 2022, Apple Music continues to be compatible on devices upgradable from iOS 8.4 and beyond to iOS 16.

Notable changes to Apple Music in iOS 16 include:

  • Personalized listening experience
  • Enhanced Home tab
  • Playlists organized by moods and activities
  • Improved search functionality

iOS 16 upholds Apple Music availability across a wide range spanning iPhone SE (2nd generation) to iPhone 14 Pro Max. Tablets from iPad Air (3rd generation) and newer also support it.


In summary, Apple Music compatibility has evolved across iOS versions:

iOS Version Apple Music Compatible? Notable Changes
iOS 8.3 and earlier No Apple Music not yet released
iOS 8.4 Yes Apple Music debuts
iOS 9 Yes Siri integration added
iOS 10 Yes Music app redesigned
iOS 11 Yes Drops 32-bit device support
iOS 12 Yes Improved Siri and search
iOS 13 Yes Overhauled Listen Now tab
iOS 14 Yes Autoplay music videos added
iOS 15 Yes Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio
iOS 16 Yes Personalized recommendations

The minimum requirement has remained iOS 8.4 since Apple Music’s introduction. Each subsequent iOS update has added new features while maintaining broad compatibility. As a result, Apple Music can be enjoyed today on a wide range of iPhones and iPads running iOS 16 all the way back to iOS 8.4. Looking ahead, it is likely that iOS 17 and later versions will continue this trend of enhancing the service while supporting Apple devices old and new.