Apple’s latest software update — iOS 16.4 — for iPhone models iPhone 8 and later is available today.
The operating system comes with a host of new features, including the addition of 21 new emojis to the keyboard.
These include the highly anticipated pink heart symbol, as well as a shaking face (“I’m dumbfounded”), a banana, stalk ginger, a Wi-Fi symbol and a pair of maracas.
That’s not all, as there are also improvements to Voice Isolation, which masks background noise when you’re speaking on a phone call.
MailOnline takes a closer look at the major new additions and bug fixes that came with iOS 16.4.
Apple’s latest software update — iOS 16.4 — for iPhone models iPhone 8 and later is available today
The operating system comes with a host of new features, including the addition of 21 new emojis to the keyboard. These include the highly anticipated pink heart symbol, as well as a shaking face (“I’m dumbfounded”), a banana, stalk ginger, a Wi-Fi symbol and a pair of maracas
1. New emojis
A new EMOJI is available in iOS 16.4
- Facial shaking
- light blue heart
- Gray heart
- pink heart
- Left Pusher (5 leather tones + standard yellow)
- Right-hand pusher (five leather tones + standard yellow)
- ginger root
- pea pod
- Folding hand fan
- Poetry selection
- Wireless (Wi-Fi symbol)
The biggest addition that comes with the software update is 21 new emojis.
These words were officially announced last year by the Unicode Consortium, a body for standardizing characters in the world’s writing systems.
In addition to the pink heart, there will be light blue and gray hearts available to use while texting.
There’s also a new nudge-right and nudge-left emoji, each available in five different skin tones.
Other new emojis in the updated collection include a donkey, angel wing, jellyfish, blackbird, geese, hyacinth flower, and a pod of peas.
The folding hand fan, hair pick, flute and khanda – a symbol of the Sikh religion – complete the new line-up.
2. Notifications for web applications
Websites added to the home screen as apps will now be able to send push notifications.
These are the alerts that appear on your device’s lock screen or appear as a banner when the device is unlocked.
Any website can be added to iPhone as an app by creating a shortcut to the web app.
To do this, you can go to the chosen site on Safari, tap the Share icon at the bottom of the screen (the box with an up arrow) and then “Add to Home Screen”.
Not all websites will be able to send push notifications, as they will need to be set up to do so.
The website will ask for permission to send notifications through its app, which the user can accept or reject.
This update also allows browsers other than Safari to give the user the option to create a web application, such as Chrome.
Sound Isolation is a feature that uses algorithms to reduce background noise and isolate the user’s voice during calls and recordings. The iOS 16.4 upgrade will come with improvements to this feature, which can be turned on or off in Settings (Stock Image)
What’s in the iOS 16.4 update?
- 21 new emojis, including animals, hand gestures, and objects, are now available in the emoji keyboard.
- Web app notifications have been added to the home screen.
- The sound isolation feature for phone calls prioritizes your voice and blocks out ambient noise around you.
- The Duplicate Album in Photos expands support for detecting duplicate photos and videos in iCloud Shared Photo Library.
- VoiceOver support for Maps in the Weather app.
- An accessibility setting to automatically darken video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected.
- Crash detection improvements on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models
- Visual search is now available in South Africa
- Fixes an issue where Ask to Buy requests from children might not appear on a parent’s device
- Addresses issues that may cause Matter-compatible thermostats to become unresponsive when paired with an Apple Home
3. Improved sound insulation
Sound Isolation is a feature that uses algorithms to reduce background noise and isolate the user’s voice during calls and recordings.
It is designed to improve sound clarity and quality by filtering out unwanted sounds such as wind, traffic, or other sounds.
When sound isolation is enabled, the iPhone uses the built-in microphones and machine learning models to differentiate the user’s voice from other sounds.
It then applies audio processing techniques to enhance the voice and reduce noise to make it easier for the person on the call to hear.
The iOS 16.4 upgrade will come with improvements to this feature, which can be turned on or off in Settings.
4. Remove duplicate photos in iCloud shared photo library
The option to remove duplicate photos in a device’s photo library with the touch of a button was added to iOS 16 last year.
The identical photos automatically appear in a folder called “Duplicates” in the Albums section of the Photos app, and pressing “Merge” turns them into a single photo.
It collects any captions, keywords, and other data into a single image to save precious space on the device.
Now, this space-saving option is being expanded to iCloud Shared Photo Library, allowing families and groups of friends to store more photos together.
The option to merge identical photos in the library can be found in the Utilities album under Duplicates.
5. VoiceOver support for Maps in the Weather app
VoiceOver is an accessibility feature that, when enabled, reads aloud text, buttons, icons, and other items on the device screen.
It is also able to describe what is displayed on the screen, such as the size and location of the buttons.
This is to assist blind or visually impaired people while using their devices.
In the new update, VoiceOver can now be used in the Maps feature in the Weather app on iPhone.
6. Option to auto blur video during flashing light or strobe effects
Another accessibility feature has been added that automatically dims the brightness of the video when strobe effects or flashes of light are detected.
This can be turned on in Settings, Accessibility, Motion, and then tap the switch next to the “Dim and flicker lights” option.
Owners of any iPhone 14 model can access a feature called Crash Detection, which automatically calls for emergency help if you’re involved in a car accident.
How do I download the update?
Go to the Settings app on your iPhone 8 or later Apple device.
Click on “General” and then “Software Update”.
A box should appear titled “iOS 16.4” and the option “Download and Install”, which should be tapped.
It will take a few minutes to download and install the update.
When it’s done, a notification will appear giving you the option to install it now, or during the night when you’re not using the device.
You won’t be able to use your phone while it’s being installed, which will take about five to ten minutes.
It’s best to charge your phone during the installation, to make sure you don’t run out of power halfway through.
You may also want to connect to Wi-Fi while downloading the 1.9GB update, or you may use all your mobile data.
7. Crash detection improvements
Owners of any iPhone 14 model have access to a feature called Crash Detection, which automatically calls emergency assistance if it detects you’ve been in a car accident.
These state-of-the-art devices feature a dual-core accelerometer – capable of detecting G-Force measurements of up to 256Gs – and a new dynamic range gyroscope.
They are used with components in previous iPhone models, such as a barometer, which can detect cabin pressure changes, a GPS for additional input of speed changes, and a microphone, which can identify the loud noises of severe car crashes.
Apple has trained its algorithms on more than a million hours of real-world driving data and accident history, to be able to accurately detect when an accident has occurred.
However, some emergency responders have found themselves bombarded with false distress calls when the feature accidentally detects a car crash.
It seems especially easy to fool the system when skiers wipe out the mountain, even though they’re completely unharmed.
For iOS 16.4, Apple has updated the crash detection feature to reduce the possibility of an accidental distress call.
8. Emergency SOS via satellite updates
Those who have any iPhone 14 model and are residents of Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Portugal can now benefit from the emergency SOS service via satellite.
This feature allows users to send text messages in an emergency while outside of cellular coverage and Wi-Fi.
Messages are sent in about 15 seconds if the user has a direct view of the sky and horizon, but asking for help can take longer if there are obstacles such as forests or mountains in the area.
Apple will now tell users how long it will take for the next satellite to pass within the reach of their device in hours and minutes.