Apple releases iOS 16.4 Beta for Developers - here are the new features in it
Apple has released the iOS 16.4 Beta for developers. The latest update introduces support for 5G SA, Web Push Notifications, and more.
What's new in iOS 16.4 Beta
The Cupertino company has finally ended support for iOS beta configuration profiles, users may no longer use them to gain access to iOS developer beta versions for free. Instead, they will be required to sign in to the same Apple ID on their iPhone or iPad, that they used for enrolling in the Developer Program. Is Apple doing this to prevent users from sharing developer beta profiles with others? Or to boost the sales of its $99/year developer program? I think it could be both.
This doesn't necessarily mean the end of iOS Beta versions for regular users. iOS 16.4 has a new Beta Updates section under the Software Update page in the Settings app. Users can opt in to the public beta and use it for free. The only disadvantage here is that public betas tend to arrive later than a Dev beta, usually about a month or so after a Dev channel update is released. On the plus side, you no longer need to search for a beta profile to download the cutting-edge version of the operating system, all it takes is a simple tap on the setting. A reddit user who is a registered developer shared a screenshot which shows a third option called iOS Customer Beta, another user suggested it could be used for Apple Seed Betas.
Web Push Notifications
iOS 16.4 enables push notifications for web apps, they work similar to notifications from other apps, i.e. the alerts will be displayed in the Notification Center, the Lock Screen and even on your Apple Watch. But, before you get excited about it, you should know that Apple has restricted this feature to web apps that you have pinned to the home screen. The shortcuts that you have added to the home screen will request your permission to send notifications.
Web push notifications will display badges on the home screen to indicate the number of notifications that are unread. It also supports Focus mode. The feature uses the W3C standards-based Web Push that was added in macOS Ventura's Safari browser (16.1).
One interesting point mentioned on the WebKit blog is that third-party browsers (e.g. Firefox, Chrome) can now add websites and web apps to the home screen. Apple Safari 16.4 supports dark mode for plain text files. (Safari release notes)
Apple released its new HomeKit Architecture with iOS 16.2, however it was buggy and the company had to disable it. iOS 16.4 beta sees the return of the HomeKit Architecture, it is available via an update for the Home app. It supports automatic and manual software updates for Matter accessories.
A number of new actions are available in the Shortcuts app including an option to shut down or restart the device, silence unknown callers, toggle Stage Manager, make Siri announce notifications, turn on/off True Tone display, lock the screen, toggle AOD, pass a message via intercom, switch NightShift on/off, connect/disconnect from VPN, automatically answer calls, and enable AirDrop Receiving.
Always On Display toggle for Focus
A new focus filter is available for Always On Display in iOS 16.4 beta. You can toggle it to turn off AOD while Focus is on.
The Apple Music app for iOS has some UI changes, it now displays a small button labeled "Playing Next" when you add some new songs to the queue, instead of showing the same in a large overlay.
9to5Mac reports that the Library tab displays the user's profile picture. Rumors said that iOS 16.4 beta would include Apple Classical Music, but it is not the case.
Warranty info in the Settings app
The warranty status of all your connected Apple devices can be viewed from the Coverage section in the settings, including the validity of your AppleCare+ subscriptions.
5G Standalone support
iOS 16.4 beta adds support for 5G standalone aka, 5G SA, which can deliver up to 3Gbps download speeds. You can toggle it from the Voice & Data page of the Settings app.
The release notes for the update states that keyboard app in iOS 16.4 beta enables autocorrect for the Korean keyboard. The Ukrainian keyboard supports predictive text. Apple has added support for transliteration layouts for three Indian languages: Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu. The update also brings new layouts for Choctaw and Chickasaw. And there are over a dozen new Unicode 15 emojis.
The build number of iOS 16.4 beta is 20E5212f. Apple has also released iPadOS 16.4 beta (20E5212f), macOS 13.3 beta (22E5219e), watchOS 9.4 beta (20T5222g) and tvOS 16.4 beta (20L5463g) for Developers. Apple recently released iOS 16.3.1 to the stable channel.
Have you installed iOS 16.4 beta on your iPhone?Advertisement