iOS 16.4: New iPhone features to try now

iOS 16.4 has arrived. After weeks of waiting, Apple’s latest iPhone update is available for download. The update includes a handful of bug and security fixes, as well as new features, such as new emoji and voice isolation for phone calls.

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Below is some of what your iPhone gains with iOS 16.4. And here what you need to know before installing the update to avoid having problems with the download.

31 new emojis

iOS 16.4 update brings 31 new emoji to your iOS device. The new emoji include a new smiley; new animals, such as a moose and a goose; and new heart colors, including pink and light blue.

9 of the new emoji, arranged in a grid on a pink background: peapod, hairpin, goose, hand, smiley, gray heart, maracas, donkey, wifi signal

Some of the new emoji released in iOS 16.4.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The new emoji are all from the September 2022 Unicode recommendation list, Emoji 15.0.

Voice isolation comes to cell calls

Voice isolation was introduced with iOS 15 in 2021, and at the time it only worked on FaceTime calls. Now, with iOS 16.4, you can also use the feature for your cellular calls.

When activated, Voice isolation can help the person you’re talking to hear you more clearly by reducing background noises, such as children playing in the other room or construction work outside your window. So it could reduce the number of times you have to repeat yourself in a phone call because the other person can’t hear you.

Easily find duplicate photos in shared albums

In iOS 16.4, you can easily find duplicate photos in shared albums in Photos. If you share photos with family or friends via iCloud, iOS 16.4 will show you all duplicates in albums. You can also merge these duplicate photos.

PlayStation 5 controller support

According to MacRumors, iOS 16.4 adds support for PlayStation 5 DualSense Edge Wireless Controller. You can use the controller to play controller-enabled games from services like apple arcade – a CNET Editors’ Choice award pick – on your iPhone.

Apple Books Update

The page turning animation is back in Apple Books with iOS 16.4, having been removed in a previous iOS update. Before, when you turned a page in an ebook on your iPhone, the page would slide to one side of your screen or it would disappear and be replaced by the next page. You can still choose these other page-turning animations in addition to the curl animation.

Changes to the Music app

Kid Cudi's Man On the Moon album with track list below

A small banner appears at the bottom of the screen when you choose to play a song next in Apple Music in iOS 16.4.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

The Music interface has been slightly changed in iOS 16.4. When you add a song to your queue, a small banner appears at the bottom of your screen instead of a full-screen popup like in previous versions of iOS.

Also, if you access your library in Music, you can organize your library by artist and access an artist. At the top of your page, you’ll see an icon for that artist. A search bar was at the top of this page. Tap the artist icon and you will be taken to that artist’s Music page.

Apple Podcast Updates

Apple Podcasts is also getting an update with iOS 16.4. You can now access a Channels tab in your library, which shows you the different networks you follow. Tap on each channel and you can see the shows you subscribe to and other shows produced by that channel.

Find out who and what is covered by AppleCare

With iOS 16.4, you can access Settings > General > About > Coverage to check who and what devices are covered on your AppleCare plan. That way, if your AirPods break, you can easily check if they’re covered. You can also manage your coverage from here.

Focus mode filters added

If you have a iPhone 14 Pro or Pro MaxiOS 16.4 lets you enable or disable the always-on display option with certain Focus modes. While creating a new filter, scroll to the bottom of the edit page, tap Focus filterthen touch Permanent display to activate or deactivate the display of this focus mode.

New Apple Wallet Features

You can add three new order tracking widgets for Apple Wallet to your home screen with iOS 16.4. Each widget displays your tracking information about active orders, but the widgets come in different sizes: small, medium, and large.

No active order displayed in Apple Wallet widget

The medium-sized Apple Wallet order tracking widget takes up two rows on your iPhone screen.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

More accessibility options

The update also adds new accessibility options. A new option is called Dim flashing lights, and you can find it in Movement menu in Settings. The option description indicates that video content that depicts repeated flashing or strobe lights will be automatically dimmed. Video timelines will also display when flashing lights occur. VoiceOver support has also been extended to Maps and Weather apps.

Apple ID and Beta Software Updates

Text that says You can sign in with another Apple ID enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program or Apple Developer Program

The latest iOS update allows you to sign in to another Apple ID to access more beta software.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

With iOS 16.4, developers and beta testers can check whether their Apple ID is associated with Developer Beta, Public Beta, or both. If you have another Apple ID, like your work one, that has access to beta updates, iOS 16.4 also lets you switch to that account from your device.

New keyboards, Siri voices and language updates

This iOS 16.4 update also adds keyboards for Choctaw and Chickasaw languages, and there are new Siri voices for Arabic and Hebrew. Language updates have also been made to Korean, Ukrainian, Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu.

Here are Apple’s release notes for iOS 16.4.

This update includes the following improvements and bug fixes:
• 21 new emoji including animals, hand gestures and objects are now available in emoji keyboard
• Notifications for web apps added to home screen
• Voice isolation for cell calls prioritizes your voice and blocks out ambient noise around you
• Duplicate Album in Photos expands support to detect duplicate photos and videos in an iCloud Shared Photo
• VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app
• Accessibility setting to automatically darken video when light flashes or strobe effects are detected
• Fixes an issue where purchase requisition requests from children may not appear on the parent’s device
• Addresses issues where Matter-enabled thermostats could become unresponsive when paired to Apple Home
• Optimizations to collision detection on iPhone 14 and iPhone
14 Pro models

To find out more, see how to enable voice isolation in phone calls, what was included in iOS 16.3.1 And features you may have missed in iOS 16.3.

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