This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2023CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice about Apple’s most popular products.
Apple has released iOS 16.4 for iPhone. The latest iOS software update adds several new features, such as 21 new emoji (including a shaking face, a light blue heart and a donkey) and a voice isolation feature for cellular phone calls, which blocks in ambient noises to make your voice clearer.
iOS 16.4 also adds Safari-based push notifications, duplicate album support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, crash-detection optimizations for iPhone 14 series, VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app, bug fixes, security updates and more.
Read on for a step-by-step guide to the process of installing iOS 16.4 on your compatible iPhone. You can also check out some of the the best existing features in iOS 16 and a few hidden features we were surprised to find. And if you recently got a new iPhone, here it is the best iPhone 14 cases so far.
Videos: Testing iOS 16 (Edit/Delete Sent Messages, New Lock Screen and More!)
Before you begin, is your iPhone compatible?
Not all iPhones will receive the iOS 16.4 update. You need at least an iPhone 8, released in 2017, to run iOS 16. That also includes iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone SE (second generation and up) and the newer iPhone 14.
Next, back up your iPhone
Getting your hands on new software can be exciting, but there are precautions you should take before updating. You may not be happy with some of the features offered by iOS 16.4 (although you can fix some of the most annoying ones), so you need to be able to downgrade back to an earlier version of iOS 16 for any reason — and you need to back up your iPhone before you update.
By default, your iPhone should be backed up whenever it’s connected to power and Wi-Fi during your regular sleeping hours. However, if this backup feature is disabled, you can go to Settings > your name > iCloud > iCloud Backup and then press Back Up Now to back up your device.
In addition, you can back up your iPhone through the Finder on your Mac. Just connect your device to your computer, open Finder, select your device and then create a backup. Apple also recommends archiving your backup, so it won’t be overwritten by other backups.
Also, be sure to do these three things
You want the download and installation process to be as smooth as possible, and the best way to do that is to do the following:
- Make sure your iPhone is connected to power. You won’t be able to download iOS 16.4 if you have less than 50% battery, so it’s best to just plug in your phone while you’re updating. And even if you’re plugged in, the battery needs to be above 20%.
- Connect to Wi-Fi. You also can’t download iOS 16.4 using cellular data, so connect to a stable Wi-Fi network.
- Clear enough storage space. If you’re running low on storage, you’ll need to clear some before you can download and install iOS 16.4. Go to Settings > General > iPhone storage to delete large files and apps.
Here’s our guide on how to get more iPhone storage.
How to download and install iOS 16.4
Now when you have set everything, turn on your iPhone and go to Settings > General > Software Updates, wait a few seconds (or minutes) for the update to appear and then hit Download and install for iOS 16.4.
You should see a loading bar, along with a rough estimate of how long the download process will take. Once the download is complete, reboot your device and wait for iOS 16.4 to install. When your iPhone boots up, follow any prompts and you should see iOS 16.4 downloaded to your device.
For more on the new OS, here’s a look at our iOS 16 cheat sheet and some of the crowd annoying features and settings in iOS 16 (and how you can fix them).