iOS 16.4 Beta 4: New Features Beta Testers Can Try Now

The wait for iOS 16.4 is almost over. Apple released iOS 16.4 beta 4 to public beta testers on Thursday, about a week after the company released the third iOS 16.4 public beta. This fourth beta means that the wide reveal of iOS 16.4 is likely just around the corner. Beta testers can now try new iOS features, including new emoji.

These features are only available to people who are part of Apple’s beta software program. New iOS features can be fun, but we recommend downloading a beta version for something other than your primary phone just in case the new software causes problems. Apple provides beta testers with an app called Feedback. The app allows testers to notify Apple of any problems in the new software so that the problem can be fixed before general release.

Here are some of the new features that testers can find in the iOS 16.4 betas.

Apple Books updates

The iOS 16.4 beta 2 update brings back the side-turn curl animation to Apple Books after it was removed in a previous iOS update. Before, when you turned a page in an e-book on your iPhone, the page would slide to one side of your screen, or it would disappear and be replaced by the next page. Beta testers can still choose these other side-turning animations in addition to the curl animation.

With iOS 16.4 beta 4, a new popup appears when you open Apple Books for the first time after downloading the update. It tells you that you can change your page turn animation, theme and more.

31 new emojis

The first iOS 16.4 beta software brought 31 new emoji for your iOS device. The new emoji include a new smiley; new animals, like a moose and a goose; and new heart colors, such as pink and light blue.

Some of the new emoji released in the first iOS 16.4 beta.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The new emoji all come from Unicode’s September 2022 recommendation list, Emoji 15.0.

Apple Podcasts updates

The first beta brought a few changes to how you navigate Apple Podcasts. Now you can access podcast channels you subscribe to in your library. You can also use Up Next to resume podcast episodes you’ve started, start episodes you’ve saved, and remove episodes you want to skip.

Apple ID and beta software updates

The latest beta lets you sign in with a different Apple ID to access other beta software.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

With the third iOS 16.4 beta, developers and beta testers can check whether their Apple ID is associated with the developer beta, the public beta, or both. If you have a different Apple ID, e.g. one for your job that has access to beta updates, iOS 16.4 beta 3 also lets you switch to that account from your device.

Preview Mastodon links in Messages

Apple’s first iOS 16.4 beta enabled extensive previews of Mastodon links in Messages. It’s good because Mastodon experienced a 400% increase. in the number of new accounts in December, so you may receive Mastodon links in Messages.

Music app changes

A small banner appears at the bottom of the screen when you choose to play a song next in Apple Music in the first iOS 16.4 beta.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

The music interface has been slightly changed in the first iOS 16.4 beta. When you add a song to your queue, a small banner appears near the bottom of your screen instead of a full-screen pop-up.

See who and what is covered by AppleCare

As of iOS 16.4 beta 1, you can go to Settings to check who and which devices are covered on your AppleCare level. With iOS 16.4 beta 2, this menu will show you a small icon next to each device covered by AppleCare.

Focus mode, shortcuts and always-on display

If you have one iPhone 14 Pro or Pro MaxiOS 16.4 beta 1 allows you to enable or disable the always-on display option with certain Focus modes. A new option in Shortcuts called Set Always on display were also added, in addition to new lock screen and set VPN actions.

New Apple Wallet widgets

You can add three new Apple Wallet order tracking widgets to your home screen with the first iOS 16.4 beta. Each widget displays your tracking information on active orders, but widgets come in different sizes: small, medium, and large.

The medium-sized Apple Wallet order tracking widget takes up three spaces on your iPhone’s screen.

Zach McAuliffe/CNET

More accessibility options

The first beta update also added a new accessibility option. The new option is called Dim flashing lights, and it can be found in Movement menu in Settings. The setting’s description says that video content that displays repetitive flashing or strobe lights will automatically dim. Video timelines will also show when flashing lights will occur.

New keyboards, Siri voices and language updates

The first iOS 16.4 beta added keyboards for the Choctaw and Chickasaw languages, and there are new Siri voices for Arabic and Hebrew. Language updates have also arrived for Korean, Ukrainian, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu.

There is no word on when iOS 16.4 will be released to the public. There is no guarantee that these beta features will be released with iOS 16.4 or that these will be the only features released with the update.

For more, check out How to become an Apple beta tester, what was included in iOS 16.3.1 and features you may have missed in iOS 16.3.

Video: iOS 16: Powerful Features You May Have Missed

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