On Monday, Apple officially rolled out iOS 16.4 to the public, and it’s not hyperbole to say that it’s a big release with tons of new changes, features, emojis, bug fixes, and more. In this hands-on video, I take a look at over 50 new features. Make sure subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos like this.
What’s new in iOS 16.4?
As mentioned, iOS 16.4 is full of new additions. In my hands-on walkthrough I stepped into a big part of what’s new. However, in this written post, I would like to consider only some of the new features that I found interesting.
Tons of Shortcut updates
Outside of perhaps WebKit, the underlying framework behind Safari, the Shortcuts app is getting more attention in iOS 16.4. New shortcut actions include the ability to toggle Silence Unknown Callers, Auto Answer Calls, Night Shift, and True Tone. You’ll also find new actions for toggling the Always On Display found on the iPhone 14 Pro, shutting down your device, locking the screen, and more.
Video walkthrough: 50+ iOS 16.4 changes and features
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My favorite new action focuses on the Intercom feature, which works with iOS devices and HomePods. This new action can announce a message passed as input using Intercom and can accept both text and media files and output to all HomePods in your home.
There are other Shortcut changes included in 16.4, such as the ability to search for screen recordings within the Photos app, connect to a VPN, or invoke a set playback destination action via Siri. The bottom line? If you’re a fan of Shortcuts, then iOS 16.4 is a must-have.
Music app UI changes
The Music app doesn’t get any radical changes in iOS 16.4, but there are some UI tweaks that I like. In particular, the pop-up that used to appear when adding songs to your Library or Up Next queue has been significantly reduced in size and is now displayed near the bottom of the interface. There’s also an updated Sort button, smaller playlist thumbnails, and a profile button now available in the top-right corner of every Music app tab.
However, my favorite new feature of the Music app is the improved waveform that appears with the track titles. Previously, the waveform was just a generic animation that had nothing to do with the song that was playing. In iOS 16.4, the updated waveform is directly related to the audio being played.
Rich previews for Mastodon in Messages
While Mastodon is still a relative unknown to the masses, it’s shaping up to be a thriving destination for techies. With that said, Mastodon links now appear in Messages with rich previews in iOS 16.4. Apparently such a change was endorsed by Apple Fellow and former head of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, who deleted his Twitter account and now has an official presence on Fediverse.
Of all the changes in iOS 16.4, no other area has gotten more attention than WebKit, and by extension, Safari. As mentioned on the official WebKit website, 16.4 includes 135 new web features and over 280 polish updates.
Among some of the more obvious web-focused features in iOS 16.4 is support for creating Home Screen bookmarks directly from third-party browsers. In addition, opening these Home Screen bookmarks will now respect the established default browser configured in iOS settings.
For the first time, web apps now get support for push notifications, and this includes notification badges, and compatibility with iOS’s Focus modes. This change should make web apps more attractive than in the past.
Of course, some of the features listed in this post are just a taste of everything included in iOS 16.4. In my hands-on video, I went through over 50 new changes and features included in this massive new update. Overall, I feel like iOS 16 as a whole has seen the most updates of any major iOS version we’ve seen to date, and there’s a chance we’ll see even more new features as iOS 16.5, which already has. available in its initial developer beta, mature.
What’s your favorite new feature of iOS 16.4? Sound off below in the comments with your thoughts.