Submitted by Frank Macey on
This week Apple released two iOS updates delivering new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements. While iOS 16.4 was widely anticipated, the company also rolled out iOS 15.7.4 to ensure iOS 15 users are protected from the most recently discovered security threats. iPhone owners are strongly encouraged to update to the latest versions of iOS as soon as possible. Navigate to Settings -> General -> Software Update to start the process.
iOS 16.4 security fixes
First and foremost, there are many important security patches included in the iOS 16.4 and iOS 15.7.4 updates. Some of these vulnerabilities have already been actively exploited, and Apple's updates are designed to prevent malicious actors from using them on more devices. Security remains the main reason to install iPhone updates as they become available from Apple. As always, there is no charge for ongoing software updates.
New emoji in iOS 16.4
Thanks to the Emoji Consortium 5.0 specification, Apple has added 31 new emoji characters to its mobile devices, notebooks, and the Apple TV. New characters include faces, animals, objects, foods, and more. Additional faces, hand gestures, and heart colors round out the mix. These new emoji are added to the keyboard with the iOS 16.4 install.
iOS 16.4 bug fixesSeveral issues are corrected in the latest update, such as a problem with Matter-compatible thermostats pairing to Apple Home. For those using Family Sharing, missing Ask to Buy requests from minors should now appear on the parent's device. Apple continues to optimize Crash Detection on iPhone 14 models since its initial release last fall. The release of iPadOS 16.4 also fixes an issue with Apple Pencil responsiveness in the Notes app.
New features in iOS 16.4
There's a substantial list of new and resurrected features on iPhone. Here's a list of the latest capabilities added to iOS 16.4:
- Accessibility can automatically dim video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected
- Apple Podcasts gets Up Next to resume episodes
- Detect duplicate photos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library
- Emergency SOS via satellite optimizations
- Home app supports Matter accessory updates
- Messages gets Inline Mastodon previews
- Music app optimizations
- New Focus filter to toggle Always-On display
- Notifications for web apps on Home Screen
- Settings app gets Coverage sub menu for all things warranty and AppleCare+
- Shortcuts app gets 12 new actions
- Software Update can automatically download beta updates
- Support for the T-Mobile fast 5G Standalone (5G SA) network
- TV app optimizations
- Voice Isolation for cellular phone calls
- VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app