Apple today released the iOS 16.4 update to users, which includes a number 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 smaller settings, those that deliver new emojis or expanded functionality are often more popular with consumers, leading to high demand for the download. That means you may have to wait a bit in order to install the latest update on your device.
With iOS 16.4, users are getting 31 new emojis. (The release notes reference “21” new emoji, but this just has to do with how the variations are counted).
Among the new additions are a shaking face, the long-awaited pink heart, two pushing hands, a Wi-Fi symbol and others, including various animals and objects. The Unicode consortium approved these emojis last year, and it was announced in February they would become available with the latest iOS update.
The new set also includes gray and light blue hearts, a folding hand fan, ginger, a pea pod, jellyfish, a moose, a goose, a hair pick, maracas, a flute and several others.
You can read more about the new emojis here.
Another new feature is voice isolation for cellular calls that will prioritize your voice and block out ambient noise around you. This will make for clearer phone calls, as you’ll be able to hear the voice of the person speaking and not whatever is taking place in the background — like other people talking or noises from their environment. The feature had already been available for FaceTime calls and other VoIP apps, but not for cellular (until now).
To enable the feature, you’ll need to open the Control Center while on the call, tap on Mic Mode, then choose Voice Isolation from the list.
Web push notifications
Last year at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple had shown a feature that allowed developers to send web-based push notifications to end users. The company rolled out this feature for Safari 16.1 with an update to macOS Ventura. Now, it’s letting iOS developers send a notification to users (after seeking permission), when the user has pinned a web app to their Home Screen. This feature could be immediately useful to some of the new Twitter rivals like Post and T2 that haven’t yet built out native iOS versions of their apps but still want to alert users to important conversations.
But it also provides a way for Apple to counteract claims that its App Store is the only way to reach mobile consumers, which could help it fight off antitrust regulations and other lawsuits.
The update release notes also reference a few other tweaks and fixes, including the following:
- 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
- The keyboard now supports indigenous languages like Chickasaw and Choctaw. Plus, Apple has added support for transliteration for Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu keyboards.
- 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
- Security fixes for Safari 16.4