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iOS 16.4 is here – So many new features!

iOS 16 may have launched six months ago, but Apple is still adding features even as we hit the halfway point on the road to iOS 17.

Its latest update, iOS 16.4, is now available to the public after several weeks of developer testing. There’s plenty of stuff to dig into, and most of it is also available in the latest iPadOS 16.4 update too. Head to the Settings app to install the free update.

A new set of emojis

Apple has finally added the latest batch of emojis to its roster, with 21 new icons joining the fray for 2023. Note that updating not only allows you to use the new emojis, but it’s also the only way to see them when posted by someone else. So to avoid those annoying blank squares, make sure to update.

Web app notifications

With iOS 16.4 also comes the ability for web apps to send push notifications. They still have to ask permission, just like anything downloaded from the App Store, but it gives developers a bit more freedom to make their web apps feel more at home on iOS. Note this only works for progressive web apps manually added to your Home Screen, not just any old fancy website you view in Safari.

HomeKit improvements

You can upgrade the underlying architecture of the Home app, which doesn’t add new features but should (in theory) make all your interconnected HomeKit tech work much better. Apple has focused on speed and reliability with this under-the-hood updated, which first launched in 2022 before being pulled for bug fixing. The new architecture is back with iOS 16.4, but you’ll need to upgrade manually from the Home Settings section in the Home app.

Apple Music Classical

Although not strictly tied to the iOS 16.4 update, it’s worth noting that Apple Music Classical was also released this week and is available for iPhones running iOS 15.4 or higher. You’ll need a regular Apple Music subscription to use it, and there’s no iPad or Mac app as yet.

Anything else?

Finally, Apple has made some smaller optimizations that won’t steal headlines but should provide noticeable improvements for many users. Most notably, Duplicate detection now works for iCloud Shared Photo Libraries and there are new Voice Isolation options when making a cellular call.

But iOS 16.4 also brings improved accessibility support in the Weather app and during video playback, it optimizes Crash Detection on the latest iPhones, and fixes some annoying Ask To Buy and Matter-related Home bugs.


How to install iOS 16.4

You can update by following the prompts in Settings > General > Software Update. Trigging the process manually is usually the fastest way to get the latest updates – automatic updates are staggered and sometimes don’t kick in for over a week after a new update drops.