Usually, the next iOS minor release goes into beta within a day or two of the main version’s public release. So, when iOS 16.3 was released back on January 23, we expected the 16.4 beta to start on January 24. It’s strange, but the first beta release of iOS 16.4 finally arrived on February 16, more than three weeks ago. . Its contemporaries (iPadOS 16.4, watchOS 9.4, and macOS 13.3) also entered beta at the same time. We expect a final release of iOS 16.4 will likely come in March, possibly at Apple’s spring event.
Update 2/28/23: The second beta of iOS 16.4 has been released to developers. The public beta usually follows within a day.
iOS 16.4: New features
Here are some of the key changes and additions in iOS 16.4. We will continue to update this section as more changes are discovered.
New emoji: This release adds emoji that are part of the Unicode 15.0 standard. It includes a shaking face (side to side, like “no”), several heart colors including a pink heart that is strangely missing until now, left and right pushing hands , many new animals (moose, goose, jellyfish), and some. food and musical instruments.
Web push notifications: This release adds support for web push notifications. Web apps saved on the home screen can send system notifications through the Push API, Notifications API, and Service Workers by using the standard HTML5 Web Push API. Websites should ask for permission just like apps do, and it should be in response to a user action (like tapping a “subscribe” button or something).
Home architectural upgrade: The Home architecture upgrade removed from the iOS 16.2 release is back in iOS 16.4. This is different from the upgraded Home app, which remains.
New Podcasts app: A new Podcasts app across iPhone, iPad, and CarPlay improves the Up Next queue and adds features like episode filtering and the ability to browse by season.
5G: Standalone support for T-Mobile users to enable faster speeds when available.
Widgets: A new Wallet widget to easily track orders.
Animation that changes the page of books: The page turning animation, where the corner of the page folds, is back in Apple Books after being removed in iOS 16.
Mastadon Support: Automatic previews for links in Messages like Twitter.
New beta requirements: If your device is registered as a beta tester, you can open Settings > general > Software Updates and a new menu allows you to choose whether you want no beta updates, Developer Beta updates (if applicable), or Public Beta updates. Also, developers will now need an authorized developer account to install updates rather than just a profile.
iOS 16.4: Release date
We don’t expect iOS 16.4 to be released until late February, or possibly March. Apple is rumored to hold an event in the spring that may coincide with the release of the full version of the update.
iOS 16.4: How to install the public beta
Apple released the public beta for iOS 16.4 on Friday, February 17. Here’s how to get it on your iPhone:
- Click Sign Up on the Apple Beta page and register with your Apple ID.
- Log in to the Beta Software Program.
- Click Enroll your iOS device. (If you signed up for a previous beta version last year you can uninstall the profile for that and then re-enroll for the new one.)
- Go to beta.apple.com/profile on your iOS device.
- Download and install the configuration profile.
- You may need to jump into Settings to create the profile. Go to general > VPN and Device Management and tap iOS 16 beta profile there.
- That will make the beta version available in the Settings app, at the bottom general > Software Updates.
iOS 16.4: How to install the developer beta
Each stage of the iOS 16.4 development cycle will be rolled out first to developers, and then to public beta testers afterwards (usually within a day or so). If you’re a developer and need to test your apps against the latest OS version possible, this is the version to run. With iOS 16.4, Apple requires all testers to register in the Apple Developer Program for $99 a year.
- In Safari on your iPhone or iPad, go to developer.apple.com and log in with your Apple ID.
- Go to Downloads section (you can find it in the left menu), scroll down to iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 beta and tap Install ProfileTHEN accept.
- Open the Settings app. You’ll see Profile Downloaded at the top of the main screen—tap it. If you don’t see it, go to general > VPN and Device Management and tap iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 beta profile there.
- pat Install in the upper right to install the iOS or iPadOS 16 beta profile.
- Read the developer consent form and (assuming you’re happy with the terms) give your consent.
- Restart your iPhone.
- Now go to Settings > general > Software Updates, where you can see iOS or iPadOS 16 beta available. pat Download and Install.
- Wait for your iPhone to finish downloading the update, then tap Install when prompted.
And if everything works the way it should, your iPhone is now running iOS 16 beta.
iOS 16.4: Risks and precautions
First of all note that betas are test versions of future software. These are by definition unfinished, and while they should include most or all of the features of the finished product, there will be cosmetic differences and, inevitably, some bugs and other issues that need to be fixed in during the development process.
In other words, don’t expect a perfect user experience. In particular, some existing apps (including ones you might rely on) may not work perfectly with the new version. In extreme cases, you may find that your device is bricked in beta, and will not be usable until the next beta arrives. It’s not uncommon for early beta software to show problems like excessive battery drain as well.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to back up your iPhone before you install the beta on your device, or better yet, use a secondary device rather than your main iPhone or iPad.