iOS 16.4 Beta 4: New features beta testers can try now


The wait for iOS 16.4 is almost over. Apple released iOS 16.4 beta 4 to public beta testers on Thursday, about a week after the company released the third public beta of iOS 16.4. This fourth beta means that the wide reveal of iOS 16.4 is likely close. Beta testers can now try out new iOS features including new emoticons.

These features are only available to people who are part of Apple’s beta software program. New iOS features can be fun, but we recommend downloading a beta version only on something other than your primary phone, just in case the new software causes problems. Apple provides beta testers with an app called Feedback. The app allows testers to notify Apple of any issues in new software so that the problem can be fixed before the general release.

Here are some of the new features that testers can find in the iOS 16.4 betas.

Apple Books Updates

The iOS 16.4 beta 2 update brings back the page-curling animation in Apple Books after it was removed in a previous iOS update. Previously, when you turned a page in an e-book on your iPhone, the page would slide to one side of the screen or disappear and be replaced by the next page. Beta testers can still choose these other page turn animations in addition to the curl animation.

With iOS 16.4 beta 4, a new pop-up appears when you open Apple Books for the first time after downloading the update. Lets you know you can change your page flip animation, theme, and more.

31 new emoticons

The first beta software for iOS 16.4 31 new emoticons to your iOS device. New emoticons include a new smile; new animals, such as moose and goose; and new heart colors like pink and light blue.

Some of the new emojis released in the first iOS 16.4 beta.

Patrick Holland/CNET

All new emoji come from the September 2022 Unicode Recommendation List, Emoji 15.0.

Apple Podcasts Updates

The first beta brought a few changes to the way you navigate Apple Podcasts. You now have access to podcasts you’ve subscribed to in your library. You can also use Forward to resume podcast episodes you’ve started, start episodes you’ve saved, and remove episodes you want to skip.

Apple ID and beta software updates

The latest beta version allows you to sign in with a different Apple ID to access other beta software.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

With the third beta of iOS 16.4, developers and beta testers can check whether their Apple ID is associated with the developer beta, the public beta, or both. If you have a different Apple ID, like one for work, that has access to beta updates, iOS 16.4 beta 3 also lets you switch to that account from your device.

View Mastodon links in Messages

Apple’s first beta of iOS 16.4 enables rich previews of Mastodon’s links in Messages. That’s good because Mastodon saw a 400% increase. in the percentage of new accounts in December, so you may receive Mastodon links in Messages.

Changes to the Music app

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

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

The music interface has been slightly modified in the first beta version of iOS 16.4. When you add a song to your queue, a small banner appears at the bottom of the screen instead of a full-screen popup.

See who and what is covered by AppleCare

Starting with iOS 16.4 beta 1, you can go to Settings to check which and what devices are covered by yours AppleCare plan. With iOS 16.4 beta 2, this menu will show you a small icon next to each device that is covered by AppleCare.

Focus mode, shortcuts and always-on display

If you have iPhone 14 Pro or Pro MaxiOS 16.4 beta 1 allows you to enable or disable the always-on display option with certain Focus modes. A new option in Shortcuts called Set Always on display was also added in addition to the new lock screen and set VPN actions.

New Apple Wallet widgets

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

The medium-sized Apple Wallet order tracker widget takes up three tiles on your iPhone screen.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

More accessibility options

The first beta update also added a new accessibility option. The new option is called Dim flashing lights, and can be found in Movement menu in Settings. The option description says that video content that depicts repetitive flashing or flashing lights will automatically be dimmed. The video graphics will also show when flashing lights will appear.

New keyboards, Siri voices and language updates

The first iOS 16.4 beta added keyboards for the Choctaw and Chickasaw languages, and there are new Siri voices for Arabic and Hebrew. Language updates have also come in Korean, Ukrainian, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu.

There is no word on when iOS 16.4 will be released to the general public. There is no guarantee that these beta features will be released with iOS 16.4 or that they will be the only features released with the update.

For more see how to become an apple beta tester, what was included in iOS 16.3.1 and features you may have missed in iOS 16.3.

Video: iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed


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