Apple has finally made the most recent version of its iPhone software, iOS 16.4, available for download, putting an end to the long wait for this update. The release of iOS 16.4 brings with it a slew of new capabilities that, although not exactly game-changing, should prove to be useful nonetheless.
Even though this isn’t a major update, iOS 16.4 will have plenty of bells and whistles to keep iPhone enthusiasts happy until WWDC 2023, which is when we will get our first glimpse at iOS 17.
The release of iOS 16.4 comes after the final version of the iOS 16.4 beta was made available the previous week. You may access the complete release by navigating to the Settings app on your iPhone, hitting the General tab, and then selecting Software Update from the menu that appears.
In iOS 16.4, Apple has concentrated on a few major upgrades, including web push notifications and, of course, a new roster of emojis. These are just two of the many changes. But, those are just the highlights; there is a great deal more information to look through.
The following is a list of all the brand-new capabilities that will become available on your iPhone once you update to iOS 16.4.
iOS 16.4 includes all of the newly released emojis that were made available with Unicode 15.0. These new emoji characters are the first ones to be released in over a year, and they feature 21 different symbols. If you count the variances in people’s skin tones, that number rises to 31.
They feature a variety of different visuals, such as hearts, animals, cuisine, and a few more. The shaking of the face and the action that looks like someone is talking to their hand are two of the highlights.
Notifications pushed to the web
You may take use of web-based notifications within Safari now that iOS 16.4 has been released on your device.
Users have the option to opt-in to get notifications via the web browser, just like they would with an app. For instance, when a new article is posted on a website like Tom’s Guide, you can choose to have the website send you a notification about it.
Only websites that have been bookmarked on the Home Screen will have permission to deliver push alerts; this is done to prevent you from being inundated with pings.
Clear Calling on the Pixel 7 is an example of a voice-isolating technology that can be found on multiple other phone makers’ handsets. This technology helps eliminate background noise while you are talking, allowing the person on the other end to hear you better.
Although Apple’s other iOS applications, such as FaceTime and WhatsApp, already had this capability, the company is now expanding its use to include other iPhone phone calls.
It would appear that the Vocal Isolation feature is not activated by default. That is something that needs to be activated in Control Center while you are on a call under the Mic Mode heading, but once it is, it ought to be active by default, judging by how it operates in FaceTime and other applications.
display filter that is constantly active for the Focus mode
The always-on display feature that was introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro series in the fall of 2017 meant that users never needed to unlock their phones in order to access their widgets and notifications.
Users of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will have the ability to add a Focus mode filter to the always-on display after iOS 16.4 is installed on their devices. So, switching the device to Focus mode should become faster and easier for those moments when you need to gain some headspace for a little while.
With the release of iOS 16.4, the contentious Apple Podcasts app will receive a minor upgrade, which includes the addition of a new area that is solely dedicated to channels. This enables a supplier to have all of their podcast offers gathered together in one location. On their iPhone, iPad, or Mac, listeners will have the ability to browse the channel and choose new programs to tune in to.
Moreover, additional functionality will be added to the Up Next feature. Episodes that you have saved to your library will automatically be put into the queue; however, you will be able to remove a show’s artwork from the queue by touching and holding it. When you use Podcasts with CarPlay, additional viewing options, like Up Next and Recently Played, will be made available to you.
In addition to this, the episode dashboard now has a more understandable layout. At the very top of each show page, as well as in the Library section titled “Just Updated,” users will get a count of the number of unheard episodes that are still accessible to them. They are able to quickly comprehend how recently a new episode was published and recognize “early access” subscriber episodes that are made accessible to them as part of their subscription to the podcast.
Animation based on Apple novels
The Apple Books app serves as your entry point into the world of literature, regardless of whether you like to read text on a screen or listen to an audiobook version of your favorite book.
With the release of iOS 16.4, Apple is bringing back a feature of Apple Books that it had previously discontinued in the mainline iOS 16 release. This feature is the page-turning animation.
Within the Books app, there is a section called Themes & Settings where users have the ability to reinstate the feature if they were sad to see it go away.
Curl, Slide, or None are the three different page change animations that are available to you because Apple wants to make your experience as pleasant as possible.
Preview of the content that will be displayed in Messages for Mastodon
You might have noticed that some Twitter users are switching over to the competing service Mastodon as Twitter continues to…um…evolve. If someone had sent you a link to a Mastodon post via Apple’s Messages app up until now, the amount of detail that was communicated was very limited.
Apple’s iOS 14.6 release brings the level of integration with Mastodon up to par with that of Twitter. If someone were to send you a post, the application will provide a comprehensive preview of the message, which will include the post text, the author’s name, and any attachments.
As a result of the latest upgrade, the details will be rendered inline within the conversation thread. If you are considering joining Mastodon, keep this in mind since it will come in helpful once you begin to share posts that you have discovered with other users.
New app architecture for the Home device
Apple rolled out the new Home app architecture once more with the release of iOS 16.4, despite having previously pulled the update in December due to issues with the software.
The redesigned architecture is intended to make it easier for Apple devices to communicate with any smart home accessories that you might have. Hence, if you are a fan of Philips Hue light bulbs, for instance, you may anticipate a more dependable connection from your iPhone.
Since it made the announcement about iOS 16 at WWDC 2022 the year before, Apple has been hard at work improving the efficiency of its products.
Simpler beta opt-in
With the release of iOS 16.4, users no longer need to access a web browser in order to obtain the appropriate device profile before they can allow beta updates in the Settings app.
You may locate it by going to the Settings app on your iPhone and selecting General > Software Update from the menu. It indicates that if you are a member of Apple’s Developer Program, you will have the ability to simplify the process of evaluating beta versions of software applications. This new menu will also give you the option to enable public betas of the iOS operating system itself.
Support for Apple Pay has been added for South Korea
Apple Pay is currently supported in a number of countries in the Asia Pacific area, including the Chinese mainland, Japan, and Malaysia. With the release of iOS 16.4, South Korea has been added to the mix. Regarding that matter, we are unsure of how Samsung will feel.
Pay using Apple Later
The release of iOS 16.4 coincides with the beginning of the beta phase for Apple Pay Later, which will eventually go live.
If you remember from the preview of iOS 16 from the previous year, Apple Pay Later is Apple’s version of a Buy Now Pay Later service. This service divides purchases into installments, and Apple Pay Later splits payments into a total of four installments. When you go to make a payment using Apple Pay, you will have the option to Pay Later, which will provide you with a scheduled payment plan at the time and date of your choosing. Apple Pay Later won’t be available for use with all of the purchases you make.
According to Bloomberg (link opens in new tab), Apple is reportedly in the process of rolling out the service right now, but as part of any Apple Pay Later experiment, it will only be available to “randomly selected” consumers. It is anticipated that Apple Pay Later will become more widely available in the coming weeks.
Quick Reaction for Safety and Security
Apple’s technique for releasing time-sensitive security fixes through its own standalone updates is called Rapid Security Response (or RSR for short). Up until this point, Apple’s approach to tackling security upgrades consisted of incorporating them into its larger software updates. The most recent release from Apple, iOS 16.4, is now available for download directly from the Settings menu on the iPhone.
You will find iOS Security Response 16.4 if you navigate to Settings > General > Software update when using the beta version of iOS 16.4. (b). It is not entirely obvious whether this second Rapid Security Response push is addressing a particular problem or whether it is simply additional testing on the side of Apple. The second possibility is more likely, and when the business is satisfied with the system, it will proceed with its full release of it. We’ll let you know if this is included in the final version of the iOS 16.4 update.
Moreover, support for the “5G Standalone” service will be included in iOS 16.4, with the intention of giving higher speeds when the user is out and about.
T-Mobile is the only carrier that offers the technology at the moment, but it has the potential to provide download rates of up to 3 Gigabits per second in some locations.
In addition, if you are the proud owner of an iPhone and you happen to call Turkey home, you are in luck: iOS 16.4 will bring 5G support to the country.
Support for NFC is being removed from the Car Key.
The Car Key app for iPhone (or Apple Watch) enables drivers to open their vehicles and even start the engine without having to reach for their keys.
Since the feature was first launched in the year 2020, it has been using NFC (near-field communication) and Ultra Wideband (UWB), which is Apple’s own technology, to bridge the connection with the automobile.
On the other hand, some code that was discovered in iOS 16.4 during the beta testing process by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) seemed to hint that Apple may discontinue support for NFC in Car Key in the future.
Those who drive cars that are only compatible with NFC can run into some difficulties as a result. It is possible that these motorists will no longer have access to the feature and will instead see the following error message: “Vehicle is not compatible with this iPhone/Apple Watch model.” 9to5Mac reported this information.
If Apple were to make this modification, the justification would be very straightforward: UWB is a more recent technology that is also more precise than NFC. It provides a more accurate measurement of the distance between the iPhone and the vehicle. Moreover, it offers enhanced protection against potential threats.
After iOS 16.4 is loaded, only Apple products that contain a U1 chip will be able to make use of the feature because NFC will no longer be supported. That means that any iPhone that was released earlier to the iPhone 11 series will not function, and neither will any Apple Watch that was released prior to the Apple Watch 6.
If you own an iPhone SE or an Apple Watch SE, you’re out of luck because none of these models comes equipped with the U1 chip. Naturally, in order to determine with absolute certainty whether or not this modification will take place, we will have to wait.
Profile of the Apple Music app
Eagle-eyed Users of Apple Music will notice a helpful update to the application when they update to iOS 16.4.
On top of the search bar, a more noticeable button will be added that will allow you to access your profile within the app. Because of this, accessing the settings for your profile should now be both faster and simpler.
Pictures with Several Copies
A Duplicates folder that highlights duplicate photographs in your Photos library is a fantastic new feature that was introduced in iOS 16 with the Photos app. With the help of this tool, you’ll be able to combine photographs that are a perfect match while preserving the captions, keywords, and other data in the image of the highest possible quality. (Here is a guide that will teach you how to use the Duplicates feature on your iPhone so that you may conserve storage space.)
The Duplicate feature has been expanded in iOS 16.4 so that it may now search for duplicate photographs and videos that are stored in your iCloud Shared Photo Library. You may recall that iOS 16.1 was responsible for the introduction of the iCloud Shared Picture Library. This feature makes it simpler to share photos with other people, like friends and family, and gives everyone equal access to manage and edit the photos that have been stored.
Support for hovering and tilting with the Apple Pencil (iPad only)
Although this update is technically for iPadOS 16.4 and not iOS 16.4, in all practical respects it is identical to iOS 16.4 with the exception of a few key distinctions. One of these modifications is that the hover functionality of the Apple Pencil has been improved for users of the iPad Pro M2.
The feature that allows you to preview pencil strokes before touching the screen has been updated so that it can now adapt to the tilt of the pencil. This provides users with a more accurate impression of the mark they are going to produce.
The responsiveness of the Apple Pencil within the Apple Notes app has also been improved following the elimination of a bug.
Where is it lacking?
Everything that was advertised to come with iOS 16 has not yet been released. For instance, on the financial front, we have not yet seen the high-yield savings account offered by Goldman Sachs integrated into Apple Pay. This is the case despite Apple’s best efforts.
It’s possible that this will be rectified in a future update, but if not, we’ll have to hold off on getting more details until WWDC 2023. How things turn out is up to time.
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