Apple releases iOS 16.4 with new emojis, web push notifications, voice isolation for calls and more

Photo credit: Emojipedia

Apple today released the iOS 16.4 update for users, which includes a bunch of new features like an expanded set of emojis, voice isolation for calls, website push notifications, and more. Users can update to the latest version by going to Settings > General > Software update.

While iOS updates often simply patch security holes or tweak minor settings, those that deliver new emojis or enhanced features are often more popular with consumers, resulting in high demand for the download. This means you may have to wait a bit to install the latest update on your device.

With iOS 16.4, users get 31 new emojis. (The release notes refer to “21” new emojis, but that just has to do with how the variations are counted).

New additions include a shaking face, the long-awaited pink heart, two pushing hands, a Wi-Fi icon, and others including various animals and items. The Unicode Consortium approved these emojis last year, and in February it was announced that they would be available with the latest iOS update.

The new set also includes gray and light blue hearts, a foldable hand fan, ginger, a pea pod, jellyfish, a moose, a goose, a hairpin, maracas, a flute and a few others.

You can read more about the new emojis here.

language isolation

Another new feature is voice isolation for cellular calls, which prioritizes your voice and blocks ambient noise around you. This makes for clearer calls because you can hear the voice of the person speaking and not what’s happening in the background – like other people talking or sounds around them. The feature was already available for FaceTime calls and other VoIP apps, but not for cellular (yet).

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To enable the feature, you need to open Control Center during the call, tap Mic Mode, and then select Voice Isolation from the list.

Web Push Notifications

Last year at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple demonstrated a feature that allowed developers to send web-based push notifications to end users. The company introduced this feature for Safari 16.1 with an update to macOS Ventura. Now iOS developers can send a notification to users (after asking permission) when the user has pinned a web app to their home screen. This feature could be immediately useful for some of Twitter’s new competitors, like Post and T2, who haven’t yet developed native iOS versions of their apps but still want to alert users to important conversations.

But it also offers Apple a way to counter claims that its App Store is the only way to reach mobile consumers, which could help it fend off antitrust rules and other lawsuits.

And moreā€¦

The update’s release notes also reference a few other tweaks and fixes, including the following:

Duplicates Album in Photos extends support for detecting duplicate photos and videos in a shared iCloud photo library VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app Accessibility setting to automatically dim videos when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected Choctaw. Also, Apple has added transliteration support for Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu keyboards. Resolves an issue where children’s “Purchase Requests” might not appear on the parent’s device