Apple is now rolling out iOS 16.4 to the masses and it brings about a couple of new features and much needed bug fixes.
iOS 16.4’s release comes after the final version of the iOS 16.4 beta arrived last week. You can find the full release by going to the Settings app on your iPhone, tapping General and selecting Software Update.
Key improvements and additions include web push notifications and a new roster of emojis. But those are just the topline additions; there’s much more to dig into.
Let’s have a look at what the new release has to offer.
1. New emojis
iOS 16.4 adds new emojis that are part of the Unicode 15.0 standard.
The new emojis include a shaking face (side to side, like “no”), several heart colors including a pink heart that was strangely absent until now, left and right pushing hands, several new animals (moose, goose, jellyfish), and a few food items and musical instruments.
2. Web push notifications
iPhone users will now have the option to take advantage of web-based notifications from Safari.
Web apps saved to the home screen can send system notifications through the Push API, Notifications API, and Service Workers by using the standard HTML5 Web Push API.
For example, you can receive notifications from a website, such as Tech With Muchiri, when a new article is published.
I should note that only websites and web apps saved to the Home Screen will be given the authority to send push notifications.
3. Home architecture upgrade
The Home architecture upgrade was first launched with iOS 16.2 but was removed due to bugs but it makes a reappearance with this update.
The revamped architecture is meant to improve communication between any smart home accessories and Apple devices.
4. Voice Isolation for cellular calls
This feature is similar to the Pixel’s Clear Calling feature, and it’s meant to reduce background noise while you’re on a call.
This was already a feature for other iOS services like FaceTime and WhatsApp, but Apple is bringing this to other iPhone phone calls.
Voice Isolation isn’t enabled by default so you’ll have to turn it on in the Control Center under Mic Mode while on a call. It should then stay on by default, going by how it behaves on FaceTime and other apps.
5. Podcasts app
The podcast app found across the iPhone, iPad, and CarPlay gets an update with iOS 16.4. The app will now feature a section devoted to channels.
This means a podcast provider can have all their podcast offerings in one place. Listeners will be able to browse the channel and discover new shows on iPhone, iPad or Mac.
Up Next is also being given extra functionality. Episodes saved to your library will already be added to the queue, but you’ll be able to touch and hold a show’s artwork to remove it. Up Next (and Recently Played) will also be available to view when you’re using Podcasts with CarPlay.
Listeners will also now see how many unplayed episodes are available for them at the top of each show page and from the Recently Updated section of Library.
The new release adds a new Wallet widget to easily track orders.
7. Apple Books page-turning animation
With iOS 16.4, Apple is reintroducing an Apple Books feature it initially killed off with the mainline iOS 16 release: the page turning animation.
Readers who were disappointed to see it go can reactivate it in the Books app’s Themes and Settings section.
And, because Apple wants to spoil you, you can select one of three page turn animations: Curl, Slide, or None.
8. New beta requirements
If your device is registered as a beta tester, you can open Settings > General > Software Updates and a new menu allows you to select whether you want no beta updates, Developer Beta updates (if applicable), or Public Beta updates.
Also, developers will now need an authorized developer account to install updates rather than just a profile.
9. Apple ID for beta access
Apple is cracking down on beta version distribution via third-party sites and profiles, requiring verification of an Apple ID enrolled in either the public or developer beta program.
With iOS 16.4, you’ll be able to create a separate Apple ID for beta access from the one used for the rest of the device’s features.
iOS 16.4 release notes
Here are the official release notes for iOS 16.4:
- 21 new emoji including animals, hand gestures, and objects are now available in emoji keyboard
- Notifications for web apps added to the Home Screen
- Voice Isolation for cellular calls prioritizes your voice and blocks out ambient noise around you
- Duplicates album in Photos expands support to detect duplicate photos and videos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library
- VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app
- Accessibility setting to automatically dim video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected
- Fixes an issue where Ask to Buy requests from children may fail to appear on the parent’s device
- Addresses issues where Matter-compatible thermostats could become unresponsive when paired to Apple Home
- Crash Detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models
How to install iOS 16.4
iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4 are now available for all iPhone and iPad models. You can update your device by going to the Settings app, selecting General, and then Software Update.
If you don’t see the update right away, keep checking because it can take a few minutes to reach every iPhone and iPad.
When you start the installation process, your iPhone or iPad will download the update and then prompt you to restart your device to complete the process.
Keep in mind that your device will be inoperable while the update is installed.