iOS 16.4: Everything you need to know!

Ios 16 Features Tiles
(Image credit: Apple)

iOS 16.4 Release Candidate is now out for developers. This means that the next update for iOS 16 is likely to arrive within the next few weeks. From new emojis to HomeKit upgrades, the latest beta has lots for us to unpack. 

iOS 16.4 has some great additions to iOS 16 that make the best iPhone, the iPhone 14 Pro, and the rest of the iPhone lineup even better. With the release of developer beta 4 and the public beta, here’s everything you need to know about the next update for your iPhone, iOS 16.4.

New features in iOS 16.4

New emojis!

New emojis in iOS 16.4

(Image credit: MacRumors)

New emojis are always worth updating your iPhone for and iOS 16.4 is no different as it brings a nice selection of new options into the fold. 

The new emoji characters being added include a "shaking head, pink heart, blue heart, gray heart, donkey, moose, black bird, goose, wing, jellyfish, hyacinth, pea pod, ginger, fan, comb, flute, maracas, and a number of left and right facing hand options."

I can’t wait to use the creepy-looking shaking head emoji with the Echo iMessage effect to freak out my friends!

Safari Web Push Notifications

With iOS 16.4, web apps will now be able to send push notifications to your iPhone. This means that any website you add as a web app to your Home Screen will be able to send push notifications – Adding iMore to your Home Screen would mean you never miss an article again! 

You can also manage the push notifications from web apps directly from within Settings. Apple is also adding support for adding websites from third-party browsers like Chrome and Firefox to your Home Screen. 

HomeKit architecture upgrade

HomeKit on iPhone

(Image credit: iMore)

iOS 16.4 also adds an upgrade to HomeKit’s architecture. This update was initially released back in December 2022 as part of iOS 16.2 although Apple revoked the upgrade after several bugs affected users who had upgraded their homes to the new architecture. 

Better precision for Emergency SOS via satellite

Apple iPhone 14 emergency

(Image credit: Apple)

With iOS 16.4 Emergency SOS via satellite will be more precise with the feature now able to tell you exactly when you’ll be in range to use the emergency feature.

  • Next Satellite Available in [x]Hour(s) and [x]Minute(s)
  • Next Satellite Available in [x]Hour(s)
  • Next Satellite Available in [x]Minute(s)
  • Next Satellite Available in Less Than 1 Minute

Apple Card Savings account

Apple Card

(Image credit: Apple)

We’re still waiting to find out if Apple Card Savings account will release alongside iOS 16.4.

MacRumors reported that code in the beta refers to "routing and account numbers, current balance, interest earned, data management, funds available for withdrawal, and more.

The code also references, "Transfer your Apple Cash balance to your savings account and start earning interest today" and "You can transfer up to [amount] from Apple Cash to your savings account in a single transaction and start earning interest today."

Cellular Voice Isolation

Currently available for VoIP calls in devices running iOS 15 and macOS Monterey or later, Apple is now bringing Voice Isolation to cellular calls. 

On FaceTime, Voice Isolation can be enabled to help improve microphone quality by removing background noise. 

Everything Else

  • Podcast Channels are now available in the Library section of the Podcast app
  • Up Next on the Podcast app now lets you resume episodes, start saved episodes, and remove episodes
  • Podcast app in CarPlay adds Up Next and Browse sections
  • The return of the “curl” animation to Apple Books after Apple removed the animation with the launch of iOS 16
  • Apple Music profile icon now available across tabs in the app
  • New Coverage section of the Settings app on iPhone to display AppleCare coverage
  • New options in Shortcuts app to lock screen and control Always-on Display for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro
  • Previews for Mastodon links in the Messages app
  • 5G support is coming to Turkey
  • Always-On Display control is being added to Focus modes
  • 5G Standalone support for T-Mobile customers, enabling download speeds up to 3Gbps
  • Users can opt-in to beta releases right from the Software Update screen in iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4
  • Icon addition for devices in the "Coverage" section of the Settings app
  • Splash screen to explain changes in the Podcasts app
  • Changes to the order of Always-On Display settings
  • 5G Standalone support is coming to Brazilian carriers Vivo and TIM Brazil as well as Japanese carrier Softbank
  • Duplicate Image Detection for iCloud Shared Photo Library

How to install iOS 16.4 beta

For iPhone users who want to try out iOS 16.4 before its official release, you can download and install the iOS 16.4 public beta today. Here’s how to do it. 

Note: The iOS 16.4 beta isn’t intended to be installed on your primary device as there are likely to be performance issues and bugs.

  1. Make a backup of your iPhone
  2. Head to Apple’s public beta website (opens in new tab)
  3. Sign in to your Apple ID
  4. Tap iOS, swipe down and tap enroll your iOS device
  5. Swipe down and tap Download Profile
  6. Tap Allow to download the profile

iOS 16.4 new Software Update settings

(Image credit: Apple)
  1. Open Settings and tap Profile Downloaded at the top
  2. Tap Install
  3. Read the consent agreement, then tap Install again
  4. Your iPhone will prompt you to restart
  5. After your device reboots, head to Software Update in Settings and Install the iOS 16.4 public beta

Rapid Security Response update

If you opt-in to use the iOS 16.4 beta, Apple has released an iOS Rapid Security Response (RSR) update to preserve the integrity of your device. It is unclear if the update is addressing actual security issues or if this is a test for the new software. The update can be installed via Settings on devices running iOS 16.4 beta.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.