iOS 16.4 Update: New Emojis, Web Push Notifications, and Voice Isolation for Calls

Apple has released the iOS 16.4 update, offering users a range of new features, such as expanded emojis, voice isolation for calls, website push notifications, and more. Users can access the update by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

iOS 16.4 Update: New Emojis

Unlike some updates that mainly focus on patching security holes or tweaking minor settings, updates that offer expanded functionality, like new emojis, tend to be more popular with consumers. This popularity can sometimes cause high demand for the download, leading to waiting periods before installation. The iOS 16.4 update includes 31 new emojis, even though the release notes mention “21” new emojis.

This discrepancy comes from how the variations are counted. The new emojis feature a shaking face, the highly anticipated pink heart, two pushing hands, a Wi-Fi symbol, various animals and objects, and more. These emojis were approved by the Unicode consortium last year, and their availability was announced in February with the latest iOS update. The new set also features gray and light blue hearts, a folding hand fan, ginger, a pea pod, jellyfish, a moose, a goose, a hair pick, maracas, a flute, and several others.

At last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple previewed a feature that allowed developers to send web-based push notifications to end-users. The company has now extended this feature to iOS with the release of the iOS 16.4 update. Developers can send a notification to users who have pinned a web app to their Home Screen, but only with their permission. This feature is particularly beneficial for new Twitter rivals like Post and T2, which have not yet built native iOS versions of their apps. It provides them with a way to alert users about important conversations, even without a dedicated app. Moreover, the introduction of web push notifications on iOS is a significant development for Apple, as it helps the company refute claims that its App Store is the only channel for reaching mobile consumers. This could potentially help Apple counter antitrust regulations and other lawsuits.

One of the notable additions in the iOS 16.4 update is the voice isolation feature for cellular calls. This feature prioritises your voice and eliminates any background noise, providing a clearer phone call experience. Previously, this feature was only available for FaceTime calls and other VoIP apps, but now it can be used for cellular calls as well. To use voice isolation, simply open the Control Center during a call, tap on Mic Mode, and select Voice Isolation from the options. This will ensure that your voice is the focus of the call and that any extraneous sounds or noises in your environment are muted. With this feature, you can expect to have clearer, more productive phone conversations, free from distractions and interference.

Here are some other tweaks and fixes included in the iOS 16.4 update: 

  1. Improved support for detecting duplicate photos and videos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library.
  2. VoiceOver now supports maps in the Weather app. Added an accessibility setting to automatically dim video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected. 
  3. The keyboard now supports indigenous languages like Chickasaw and Choctaw. 
  4. Transliteration support has also been added for Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu keyboards. 
  5. Fixed an issue where Ask to Buy requests from children may fail to appear on the parent’s device. 
  6. Resolved issues where Matter-compatible thermostats could become unresponsive when paired with Apple Home. 
  7. Optimisations for Crash Detection on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. 
  8. Security fixes for Safari 16.4.

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