Apple has released the third beta versions of iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4 to public beta testers. These beta versions give non-developers the opportunity to test and provide feedback on the software before it is released to the general public. The third public beta release comes one week after the second public beta version was made available for testing. Apple is expected to continue releasing more beta versions of these operating systems in the coming weeks, with the final version likely to be released in the near future.
Individuals who are a part of Apple’s free beta testing program can easily access and install the latest beta version of iOS 16.4 over the air. To do so, they must download the appropriate certificate from the Public Beta website and follow the prompts to complete the installation process.
It is worth noting that the use of certificates to download beta updates will no longer be necessary after this release. Future beta updates for both developers and public beta testers will be linked to an individual’s Apple ID, eliminating the need for certificates altogether. This change is expected to simplify the beta installation process for testers moving forward.
What’s new in iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4
Apple’s upcoming iOS 16.4/iPadOS 16.4 software version will bring a range of new features and improvements. These include an expanded collection of emojis, updates to the Music and Podcast apps, 5G Standalone support for faster connectivity, and a new HomeKit architecture for improved smart home integration. Additionally, users can now preview Mastodon links directly within the Messages app. The update is expected to be released to the public sometime in March or April, offering a host of exciting new features for iPhone and iPad users.
As we mentioned above, iOS 16.4 brings a variety of new emoji characters to the platform, expanding the visual language available to users. These new additions include a shaking head emoji, as well as various heart emojis in pink, blue, and gray hues. Animal lovers can rejoice with the addition of donkey, moose, black bird, and goose emojis, while nature enthusiasts can enjoy a wing and jellyfish emoji. The update also introduces plant-based emoji options, such as the hyacinth and pea pod, as well as a ginger root emoji. Musical instrument options are expanded with the inclusion of a flute and maracas emoji. Finally, left and right-facing hand options allow for even more customization and expression in communication.
The iOS 16.4 update also introduces Safari Web Push notifications, allowing users to receive push notifications from websites they add to their Home Screen, similar to how it works on Macs. However, web developers must enable support for this feature on their website for it to work. These notifications function like any other iOS notification and can also be filtered out with Focus mode, delivered to your Apple Watch, and more. This feature offers more flexibility for users who want to stay up-to-date with their favorite websites.
In addition, third-party browsers now have a new option to “Add to Home Screen” feature. This will allow you to add your favorite Chrome site directly to the Home Screen of your iPhone or iPad. Also, the HomeKit architecture upgrade that was initially removed from iOS 16.2 has now been reinstated, and it is available again in the latest beta.
In addition to the exciting new features, Apple has made several subtle but significant tweaks to existing apps like Podcasts, Apple Music, and AppleCare coverage interface, to provide users with a seamless and more intuitive experience. The new Shortcuts feature allows users to automate their daily tasks and save time, while the 5G connectivity option in Turkey ensures faster and smoother internet connectivity for users in the region. Furthermore, the new always-on display filter option in Focus mode adds an extra layer of convenience and personalization to this already handy feature.