Apple’s iOS 16.4 update: What’s new for iPhone users?

Apple is preparing to release its iOS 16.4 update, which brings several new features and improvements to the iPhone. The software update is currently in beta testing and will be publicly available in the spring, probably in March or April.

Here are five exciting new features coming with iOS 16.4

New emoticons

The iOS 16.4 update will introduce a number of new emojis added with Unicode 15.0, including a shaking face, a heart in three new color options, a donkey, a moose, a jellyfish, and many others. Apple recently gave a sneak peek at all of the new emoji coming with the update, and users are eagerly awaiting their arrival.

Web Push Notifications

iOS 16.4 update supports web-based push notifications through Safari on iPhone. With this feature, users can receive notifications from websites directly on their phones, just like notifications sent by apps from the App Store. Only sites that a user saves as a web app on their home screen can request push notifications to be sent.

Beta Updates menu

Apple has added a new “Beta Updates” menu in the Settings app under General → Software Update. This menu allows members of Apple’s developer program to access developer beta versions of iOS without having to install a configuration profile from the Apple Developer website, simplifying the beta installation process. Users can also easily activate iOS public betas from the same menu.

Apple has indicated that in future iOS versions, this new menu will be the only way to enable developer betas and prevent configuration profiles from being used and shared online for free.

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Podcasts app improvements

iOS 16.4 will introduce several new features to Apple’s Podcasts app on iPhone and CarPlay. The new Channels menu in the Podcasts app provides a list of podcast channels in one place on iPhone.

CarPlay also provides access to the Next and Recently Played queues from the Listen Now tab, and podcast recommendations from the Browse tab.

New Home app architecture

iOS 16.4 reintroduces Apple’s revamped Home app architecture, originally introduced with iOS 16.2 but temporarily pulled due to bugs. After updating to iOS 16.4, an optional update is available in the Home app with the new underlying architecture. Apple has stated that the new architecture will improve the app’s performance, efficiency and reliability for controlling smart home accessories. The new architecture follows the Home app supporting Matter accessories in iOS 16.1.

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