Apple next-gen iOS update
Here are 5 extremely useful iOS 16.4 features Pixabay

The recently rolled-out iOS 16.4 update boasts an impressive array of useful features, coupled with security upgrades and bug fixes. While it doesn't bring a myriad of other features that are expected to arrive with iOS 17 later this year, iOS 16.4 offers some notable features that you should try right away.

It is worth mentioning that Apple does not divulge details about security issues before carrying out an investigation or releasing security updates. Apple device owners are advised to keep their software up to date to maintain their product's security. The latest version of iOS is 16.4.

Now, key details about the security updates, bug fixes, and other enhancements included in the new update have been revealed in Apple's patch notes for iOS 16.4. Notably, the patch notes confirm that the update has 21 new emojis for those who have downloaded and installed the iOS 16.4 update to their iPhones.

The update has new emojis added with Unicode 15.0 including a donkey, a jellyfish, a moose, a heart in three new colour options, a shaking face, and others. Aside from this, iOS 16.4 boasts some exciting and useful features that you might want to test right away. Eligible iPhone users can get the update for free. It is available for the iPhone 14 series, iPhone 13 series, iPhone 12 series, and other devices.

Here are 5 must-try iOS 16.4 features

Web Push notifications

Eligible users who update to iOS 16.4 will start getting web-based push notifications. To recap, Apple announced the feature at WWDC 2022. The feature enables developers to send web-based push notifications via Safari browser to iPhone users who have pinned a web app to their handset's home screen. This is similar to notifications a user receives from App Store applications, according to a report by MacRumors.

Voice isolation on cellular calls

The iOS 16.4 adds a Voice Isolation feature for cellular calls. Voice isolation was originally introduced back in 2021 via iOS 15. Regrettably, the feature was only compatible with FaceTime. The latest iOS 16.4 update brings voice isolation support even to iPhone's stock phone app. As a result, the feature is now available on traditional cellular calls.

Voice isolation minimises background noise during a call, allowing the other person to hear you more clearly. However, it is worth noting that the feature is disabled by default. You can enable it by heading to Settings. First, call someone and then open the Control Center menu, which is available in your iPhone screen's top-right corner.

Now, simply tap Mic Mode and go to Voice Isolation. This will enable the feature not only for the ongoing call but for all cell phone calls you make in the future.

Beta Updates menu

The latest iOS 16.4 update has added a Beta Updates menu. You can access it in the Settings apps under the General tab in the Software Update section. This new update has simplified the process of installing the beta. Now, Apple's Developer Program members do not need to go to the Apple Developer website to install a configuration profile to access iOS developer betas.

Also, enabling public betas of iOS is now possible from the same menu. To ensure the developer beta option appears on your iPhone, sign into the device with the same Apple ID you used to register in Apple's Developer Program. Apple says enabling developer betas in the future will be possible only via the new menu. This will restrict the use and sharing of configuration profiles online for free.

Duplicates detection in iCloud Shared Photo Library

With iOS 16.4, the Photo app has received the ability to detect duplicate videos and photos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library. Apple introduced Duplicates last year through iOS 16. However, the older version could only flag duplicate images in the Photos library. The updated Duplicates version expedites the process of identifying and detecting unnecessary shots.

This allows you to free up your iCloud space. Duplicates can identify visually-same images that have different metadata. So, users are advised to delete a picture only after checking whether there's any difference in resolution or file type. You can go to Photos App, then Album, and Utilities to access the Duplicates feature. Here, you can either find duplicates you want to delete for good or you can merge these duplicates to clean up your library.

Apple Pay Later

Apple introduced its BNPL service dubbed Apple Pay Later in the US last month. The service enables consumers to split eligible purchases into four payments with zero interest and no fees. Notably, all payments come via Apple Pay itself. After making a purchase, all you need to do to take advantage of Apple Pay Later is to select the "Pay later" option.

After paying the initial amount when making the purchase, you'd need to make another payment every two weeks. Apple Pay Later works both online, as well as in-store. Regrettably, the Cupertino-based tech giant hasn't rolled out Apple Pay Later outside the US yet. According to a Bloomberg report, the service is currently available to randomly selected users.

Other notable changes and features

5G Standalone: Unlike 5G services, 5G Standalone (5G SA) does not use a combination of 5G and 4G spectrum for connectivity. This version of 5G connectivity does not depend on 4G LTE data transfer but uses a 5G core network instead.

New accessibility setting: Eligible devices running iOS 16.4 can now automatically dim video when strobe effects or flashes of light are detected.

Fixes: The update fixes an issue that caused Ask to Buy requests to not show up on the parent's device. Also, the update addresses issues related to Matter-compatible thermostats becoming unresponsive when connected to Apple Home. Lastly, the iOS 16.4 update optimised Crash Detection on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.