I've been developing an iOS application, and I've confirmed that it works fine on the iPhone 4. I have never tested it in a 4th generation iPod touch.

Recently I distributed the app to several testers (using a service called TestFlight). Only two of them are having problems downloading/installing, and they happen to be 4th generation iPod touch users.

So this leads me to my question - will an app that can run on the iPhone 4 be able to do so on a 4th generation iPod touch? Maybe their devices can't download/install the app because they actually can't run it.

The question at http://store.apple.com/us/question/answers/ipod/will-all-the-iphone-apps-work-on-an-ipod-touch/QTH2T4XUYF29DAUUA says

Most apps will work on the iphone and the ipod touch but some apps will require things that only the ipad or iphone has.

What are those specific things that an iPhone 4 may have that are lacking on a 4th generation iPod touch?

The app doesn't really do anything fancy. It uses Game Center, it has In-App purchase, an accelerometer... All of that seems to be supported by the iPod touch.

2 Answers 2


As a developer, you can control exactly which hardware you want to support and which you will not support by picking the source code you use and properly tagging the files you upload to Apple.

The iOS app store then can prevent the devices you have disallowed from downloading the app. So, there's nothing to prevent a developer from targeting only iPhone 4 with their code or just targeting a specific iOS version.

It's up to you (and each other developer) to decide on a build-by-build basis, so the general answer would be:

No, there is no guarantee that all apps (or any one app) that run(s) on iPhone 4 will also run on iPod Touch (4th generation).


You mention that they're having trouble downloading/installing the app — does the app require iOS 7? The iPod touch 4th generation can't run iOS 7, so apps that require iOS 7 won't install.

The main hardware limitation of the iPod touch over the iPhone (other than the lack of cellular connectivity) is GPS. All generations of iPod touch don't have 'real' GPS.

For iPod touch with Maps, the Maps application provides your approximate location using information based on your proximity to known Wi-Fi networks (when on and available). The more accurate the available information, the smaller the circle identifying your position on the map. The feature is not available in all areas. Known Wi-Fi networks are predominantly in urban areas.

Source: Apple — iPod touch — Technical Specifications

The iPod touch also doesn't have a compass.

  • I'm not sure if this is the case, but I developed the app using iOS 7 SDK, but the deployment target is 4.3. Does that mean an iPod touch can't run it? I may have to ask this at StackOverflow I guess.
    – Saturn
    Jan 4, 2014 at 19:46
  • @Omega It depends if you're using iOS 7 APIs (although Xcode should warn you about things like that). Indeed that would probably be best asked on SO.
    – grg
    Jan 4, 2014 at 19:53
  • @Omega You do need to ask this on Stack Overflow. We only do "iTunes connect and high level how it works as far as the consumer is concerned" type questions here. Any fruitful discussion of the inner workings of specific apps will get into code level details and unless you have questions how to click which buttons when submitting the app, will likely be off-topic here.
    – bmike
    Jan 4, 2014 at 19:53

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