Apple’s latest software update – iOS 16.4 – has been made available for iPhone models from the iPhone 8 and newer today.
The operating system comes with a range of new features, including the addition of 21 new emoji to the keyboard.
This includes the highly anticipated pink heart icon, as well as a shaking face (‘I’m shook’), a moose, stem ginger, the Wi-Fi symbol and a pair of maracas.
That’s not all, as there are also improvements to Voice Isolation, which blocks out background noise when you’re speaking in a phone call.
MailOnline takes a closer look at the major new additions and bug fixes that come with iOS 16.4.
Apple’s latest software update – iOS 16.4 – has been made available for iPhone models from the iPhone 8 and newer today
The operating system comes with a range of new features, including the addition of 21 new emoji to the keyboard. This includes the highly anticipated pink heart icon, as well as a shaking face (‘I’m shook’), a moose, stem ginger, the Wi-Fi symbol and a pair of maracas
1. New emoji
NEW EMOJI AVAILABLE IN iOS 16.4
- Shaking face
- Light blue heart
- Grey heart
- Pink heart
- Leftwards pushing hand (in five skin tones + standard yellow)
- Rightwards pushing hand (in five skin tones + standard yellow)
- Black bird
- Ginger root
- Pea pod
- Folding hand fan
- Hair pick
- Wireless (Wi-Fi symbol)
The biggest addition that comes with the software update is 21 brand new emoji.
These were formally announced last year by The Unicode Consortium, the body for standardising characters in the world’s writing systems.
As well as the pink heart, there will be light blue and grey hearts available to use while texting.
There are also new Rightwards Pushing Hand and Leftwards Pushing Hand emoji, which are each available in five different skin tones.
Other new emoji in the updated set include a donkey, an angel wing, a jellyfish, a black bird, a goose, hyacinth flower and a pod of peas.
A folding hand fan, hair pick, flute and the khanda – the symbol of the Sikh faith – complete the new line-up.
2. Notifications for web apps
Websites that are 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 come down as a banner when the device is unlocked.
Any website can be added to the iPhone as an app by creating a web app shortcut.
To do this, you can navigate to the chosen site on Safari, tap the Share icon at the bottom of the screen (the square with the upwards arrow) and then ‘Add to Home Screen’.
Not all websites will be able to send push notifications immediately, as they will need to be set up to do so.
The website will ask for permission to send push notifications through its app, which the user can accept or decline.
This update also allows for browsers other than Safari to give the user the option to create a web app, like Chrome.
Voice Isolation is a feature that uses algorithms to reduce background noise and isolate the sound of 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 IS IN THE iOS 16.4 UPDATE?
- 21 new emoji including animals, hand gestures and objects are now available in emoji keyboard.
- Notifications for web apps added to the Home Screen.
- Voice Isolation for mobile calls prioritises your voice and blocks out ambient noise around you.
- Duplicates album in Photos expands support to detect duplicate photos and videos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library.
- VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app.
- Accessibility setting to automatically dim video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected.
- Crash Detection optimisations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models
- Visual Look Up is now available in South Africa
- Fixes an issue where Ask to Buy requests from children may fail to appear on the parent’s device
- Addresses issues where Matter-compatible thermostats could become unresponsive when paired to Apple Home
3. Voice Isolation improved
Voice Isolation is a feature that uses algorithms to reduce background noise and isolate the sound of the user’s voice during calls and recordings.
It’s designed to improve the clarity and quality of audio by filtering out unwanted sounds such as wind, traffic or other voices.
When Voice Isolation is enabled, the iPhone uses its built-in microphones and machine learning models to distinguish between the user’s voice and other sounds.
It then applies audio processing techniques to enhance the voice and reduce the noise to make it easier to hear the person on the call.
The iOS 16.4 upgrade will come with improvements to this feature, which can be turned on or off in Settings.
4. Duplicate image removal in an 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.
Identical photos automatically appear in a folder called ‘Duplicates’ in the Albums section of the Photos app, and pressing ‘Merge’ transforms them into a single image.
It combines any captions, keywords and other data into one photo in order to save precious space on the device.
Now, this space-saving option is being expanded to the iCloud Shared Photo Library, allowing families and groups of friends to store more images together.
The option to merge identical images in the Library will 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 elements on the device’s screen.
It is also able to describe what is being shown on screen, like the size and location of buttons .
This is to assist people who are blind or visually impaired while using their device.
In the new update, VoiceOver can now be used in the maps feature on the Weather app on the iPhone.
6. Option to automatically dim video during flashes of light or strobe effects
Another accessibility feature has been added which automatically dims a the brightness of a video when strobe effects or light flashes are detected.
This can be turned on in Settings, Accessibility, Motion and then by pressing the switch next to the ‘Dim Flashing Lights’ option.
Owners of any model of iPhone 14 have access to a feature called ‘Crash Detection’, which automatically calls for emergency assistance if you’re in a car accident
HOW DO I DOWNLOAD THE UPDATE?
Go to the Settings app on your iPhone 8 or newer Apple device.
Tap ‘General’ and then ‘Software Update’.
A box should appear entitled ‘iOS 16.4’ and the option to ‘Download and Install’, which you should press.
It will take a few minutes to download and prepare the update.
When this is done, a notification will pop up giving you the option to install it now, or during the night when you are not using the device.
You will not be able to use your phone as it installs, which will take about five to ten minutes.
It is best to be charging your phone during the installation, to ensure it does not run out of power halfway through.
You may also want to be connected to Wi-Fi while downloading the 1.9GB update, or it may use up all of your mobile data.
7. Crash Detection optimisations
Owners of any model of iPhone 14 have access to a feature called ‘Crash Detection’, which automatically calls for emergency assistance if it detects you’re in a car accident.
These latest devices feature a dual-core accelerometer – capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs – and a new high dynamic range gyroscope.
These are used in combination with components in previous iPhone models, like the barometer, which can detect cabin pressure changes, the GPS for additional input for speed changes, and the microphone, which can recognise loud noises typified by severe car crashes.
Apple has trained its algorithms on over a million hours of real-world driving and crash record data, to be able to accurately detect when an accident has taken place.
However, some emergency responders have found themselves bombarded with false distress calls when the feature mistakenly detects a car accident.
The system appears to be particularly easily tricked when skiers wipe out on a mountain, despite them being completely unharmed.
For iOS 16.4, Apple has updated the Crash Detection feature to reduce the likelihood of such an accidental distress call.
8. Emergency SOS via Satellite updates
Those with any model of iPhone 14 who are based in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands or Portugal can now make use of Emergency SOS via Satellite.
This feature allows users to send text messages in the event of an emergency while outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
The messages are sent in about 15 seconds if the user has a direct view of the sky and horizon, but the call for help could take longer if there are obstacles such as forests or mountains in the area.
Apple will also now inform users how long it will be until the next satellite passes within reach of their device in hours and minutes.