Everything new in the iOS 16.4 beta

Posted:
in iOS edited February 2023
Apple has restarted its beta cycle with iOS 16.4, and there are numerous changes across the operating system, big and small. Here's what they are.

iOS 16.4 bringing several new features to users
iOS 16.4 bringing several new features to users


After almost a month without any active betas, Apple finally released iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, tvOS 16.4, watchOS 9.4, and macOS Ventura 13.3 to developers for testing. Many of the updates are universal for Apple's ecosystem, while a few affect iOS and iPhone users specifically.

The following features are only available in the beta, and there is no guarantee that they will make the final version. Only developers can test for now, with a public beta likely following in the coming week.

While it may be enticing to install a beta to test the new features, AppleInsider and Apple urge users to avoid installing betas on any hardware deemed "mission critical." Or, basically, anything that is important for work or personal use.

Shortcut updates

Apple has added nearly a dozen new Shortcuts actions. Thanks to Reddit user iBanks3 for posting the list.

  • Silence Unkown Callers

  • Set Stage Manager

  • Set True Tone

  • Set Announce Notifications

  • Shut Down

  • Lock Screen

  • Set Always on Display

  • Intercom

  • Set VPN

  • Set AirDrop Receiving

  • Set Night Shift

These actions will enable users to toggle specific settings when triggered by certain events like a Focus Mode or device location. Imagine opening the Podcasts app and turning off "Announce Notifications" so you're not interrupted or enabling "Silence Unknown Callers" when in your Work Focus.

Toggle AirDrop on with Shortcut buttons or automations
Toggle AirDrop on with Shortcut buttons or automations


The "Set AirDrop Receiving" action may be a decent workaround for protestors that use the service for passing along information.

Always-on display Focus Filter

Focus Filters are a great feature that allows users to control exactly how an app or setting works depending on the current Focus Mode. The iOS 16.4 beta includes a new long-requested function for toggling the always-on display.

Toggle always-on display mode with Focus Filters
Toggle always-on display mode with Focus Filters


Some users like the always-on display, but not at every moment of their day. Set this Focus Filter for a Work Focus or while Driving to minimize distractions.

New feature hints in code

Code discovered by 9to5Mac in the iOS 16.4 beta suggests users will soon be able to see exactly how much battery the always-on display consumes. This information will show up in the Battery section of the Settings app.

It is too soon to tell if this is enabled in the beta or being prepared. The Battery calculation section will likely need a few hours to show collected data.

MacRumors also discovered some code, but this time for Apple's upcoming Savings Account feature. It shows information about routing numbers, account numbers, current balances, interest earned, data management, and more.

Apple TV app UI change

A small but useful change was made to the Apple TV app. Previously, if a user wanted more information about a movie or TV show, they would have too long press on it.

This action would sometimes inadvertently begin playing the title rather than taking them to the media page. The interaction was hidden, too, so most users likely didn't even know it was possible.

iOS 16.4: Up Next items in TV app now have a button that reveals a menu previously only discovered by long press. ( used to be a download button.) pic.twitter.com/8vJON25Q5h

-- Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo)


Now, there is an ellipsis below the title of items in the Up Next menu. This opens the menu previously only available via a long press.

Mastodon rich links in iMessage

Mastodon has become more popular as an alternative to Twitter, but there are still some growing pains around the service. One thing that needed a workaround until now was link sharing and previews in iMessage.

Rich previews for Mastodon links in iMessage
Rich previews for Mastodon links in iMessage


Thank you Tim Roesner for pointing this out and possibly being at least partially responsible.

Before, sharing a link in iMessage would show incomplete data or just the clickable link text. Now, iMessage will display Mastodon links as rich previews without any user editing or workarounds.

Other changes

There are several other significant updates coming to Apple's operating system we've already covered in detail.

Those include: More features could surface during the beta cycle. Apple still hasn't released other promised features like the expected Apple Music Classical app or Apple Pay Later.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,823moderator
    Here’s two capabilities I’d like to see Apple incorporate into iOS.

    1. A Siri shortcut to turn off FaceID.  People could use this if pulled over by police or in other situations where they want to better ensure security of their phone and data. 

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   
    edited February 2023 retrogustoRonnyDaddyappleinsideruser
  • Reply 2 of 15
    I noticed a difference in the weather app: now it shows a bar at top when updating info and it shows when it was last updated. 
  • Reply 3 of 15
    Here’s two capabilities I’d like to see Apple incorporate into iOS.

    1. A Siri shortcut to turn off FaceID.  People could use this if pulled over by police or in other situations where they want to better ensure security of their phone and data. 

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   

    If your using HomePods as default sound you can use iPhones physical volume buttons to control the sound in the Apple TV remote app.

    mike1radarthekatlolliver
  • Reply 4 of 15
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,936member
    Here’s two capabilities I’d like to see Apple incorporate into iOS.

    1. A Siri shortcut to turn off FaceID.  People could use this if pulled over by police or in other situations where they want to better ensure security of their phone and data. 

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   
    If your AppleTV controls TV volume directly via HDMI, your controller app on the iPhone already will control volume too, using your iPhone’s volume buttons. There will be indicators on the edge of the screen to show that feature is active. 

    As for communicating with your ATV remote to control volume via its IR emitter, that’s not going to happen. For that to work, your ATV remote has to be left in a position where the IR emitter can be “seen” by your TV’s IR receiver. If it’s pointed in the wrong direction, or in a drawer, or between couch cushions, it won’t work. Apple isn’t going to create a feature that would fail in so many cases and depend on the user understanding why it’s failing. Too many won’t, and they’ll blame Apple for a failure that’s literally outside their control. 

    Apple is pretty consistent about simply not including a feature if it won’t be reliable or if it requires the user to understand it’s a workaround that necessitates additional external steps to be taken by the user to make it function. In this case, if you have to fetch the ATV remote and point it at the TV anyway, it’s better to simply let the user fetch the ATV remote and use it to control the TV volume. They’ll intuitively understand what’s going on, instead of banging on the volume control on their iPhone and getting angry because no matter how much you point you iPhone at the TV, the volume control that sometimes works isn’t working right now. 
    mike1retrogustoRonnyDaddylolliverwilliamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 15
    bshankbshank Posts: 255member
    Here’s two capabilities I’d like to see Apple incorporate into iOS.

    1. A Siri shortcut to turn off FaceID.  People could use this if pulled over by police or in other situations where they want to better ensure security of their phone and data. 

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   
    It should be able to. Works on mine
  • Reply 6 of 15
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,823moderator
    AppleZulu said:
    Here’s two capabilities I’d like to see Apple incorporate into iOS.

    1. A Siri shortcut to turn off FaceID.  People could use this if pulled over by police or in other situations where they want to better ensure security of their phone and data. 

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   
    If your AppleTV controls TV volume directly via HDMI, your controller app on the iPhone already will control volume too, using your iPhone’s volume buttons. There will be indicators on the edge of the screen to show that feature is active. 

    As for communicating with your ATV remote to control volume via its IR emitter, that’s not going to happen. For that to work, your ATV remote has to be left in a position where the IR emitter can be “seen” by your TV’s IR receiver. If it’s pointed in the wrong direction, or in a drawer, or between couch cushions, it won’t work. Apple isn’t going to create a feature that would fail in so many cases and depend on the user understanding why it’s failing. Too many won’t, and they’ll blame Apple for a failure that’s literally outside their control. 

    Apple is pretty consistent about simply not including a feature if it won’t be reliable or if it requires the user to understand it’s a workaround that necessitates additional external steps to be taken by the user to make it function. In this case, if you have to fetch the ATV remote and point it at the TV anyway, it’s better to simply let the user fetch the ATV remote and use it to control the TV volume. They’ll intuitively understand what’s going on, instead of banging on the volume control on their iPhone and getting angry because no matter how much you point you iPhone at the TV, the volume control that sometimes works isn’t working right now. 
    I’d thought about that issue, but a guy can dream.  I get frequently frustrated when something else grabs my attention and I want to turn down the volume temporarily but I realize I left the remote on the shelf by the Apple TV box.  A minor thing, but it’s the kind of thing you’d expect technology to be able to solve, one way or another.  
  • Reply 7 of 15
    insync88 said:
    Here’s two capabilities I’d like to see Apple incorporate into iOS.

    1. A Siri shortcut to turn off FaceID.  People could use this if pulled over by police or in other situations where they want to better ensure security of their phone and data. 

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   

    If your using HomePods as default sound you can use iPhones physical volume buttons to control the sound in the Apple TV remote app.

    You can disable Face ID ever quicker than using a shortcut by pressing the power key on the iPhone 5 times really quickly. This will disable Face ID and you’ll need to use passcode to access device. 
    caladanianwilliamlondonroundaboutnow
  • Reply 8 of 15
    XedXed Posts: 2,460member
    CiaranF said:
    insync88 said:
    Here’s two capabilities I’d like to see Apple incorporate into iOS.

    1. A Siri shortcut to turn off FaceID.  People could use this if pulled over by police or in other situations where they want to better ensure security of their phone and data. 

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   

    If your using HomePods as default sound you can use iPhones physical volume buttons to control the sound in the Apple TV remote app
    You can disable Face ID ever quicker than using a shortcut by pressing the power key on the iPhone 5 times really quickly. This will disable Face ID and you’ll need to use passcode to access device. 
    I find that maneuver awkward. For me, simply a long press on the power and either volume button brings up the power down / medical ID / emergency call screen in about 1.5 seconds. When that screen appears  you have to put your passcode back in, even if you hit cancel.
    appleinsiderusercaladanian
  • Reply 9 of 15
    The "31 new emoji" link is wrong/duplicated from the prior bullet point ("Web app push notifications")...
    appleinsiderusercaladanian
  • Reply 10 of 15
    XedXed Posts: 2,460member
    BiC said:
    The Only question that is not Answered: How much code did they remove.  The more code, the slower the rendering.
    That may usually be true, it's certainly not always true. Complexity is an overall better measure, not the number of characters or lines, even if those can contribute to the complexity. Conciseness also helps remove some complexity—it's all about balance. For instance, much can be written as a single line but using multiple lines makes it more readable and often easier to debug.

    Additionally, one also has to consider how fast a program will execute. Here's just a random example I googled that shows a do and don't when using Python.


    edited February 2023
  • Reply 11 of 15

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   
    many times the volume is controlled NOT via IR. Try hiding the remote behind a cushion, it still works. So, you could get your wish, as the iOS remote could ask the ATV to use HDMI to adjust the telly volume. 🤓
  • Reply 12 of 15
    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   
    That seems needlessly complex. The TV app in Control Center already controls the TV in other areas, like the touch surface, without having to send signals to the remote to then be relayed to the TV. It’s just odd that we can’t always control the volume using the app. 

    Also, I believe the TV remote connects over Wi-Fi so no need to worry about line-of-sight for IR. 
  • Reply 13 of 15
    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   
    That seems needlessly complex. The TV app in Control Center already controls the TV in other areas, like the touch surface, without having to send signals to the remote to then be relayed to the TV. It’s just odd that we can’t always control the volume using the app. 

    Also, I believe the TV remote connects over Wi-Fi so no need to worry about line-of-sight for IR. 
    Yes, it depends on if the tv understands volume commands via HDMI-CEC from ATV. https://www.howtogeek.com/207186/how-to-enable-hdmi-cec-on-your-tv-and-why-you-should/

    Thanks for the volume tip. I never knew the iOS volume control became the TV volume control when Remote is active. Nice! 

    PS The ATV remote uses Bluetooth not WiFi https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205329
    edited February 2023
  • Reply 14 of 15
    twokatmewtwokatmew Posts: 48unconfirmed, member
    CiaranF said:
    insync88 said:
    Here’s two capabilities I’d like to see Apple incorporate into iOS.

    1. A Siri shortcut to turn off FaceID.  People could use this if pulled over by police or in other situations where they want to better ensure security of their phone and data. 

    2. The AppleTV controller app you can access via Control Panel should have a volume control.  The reason it doesn’t is that your iPhone doesn’t have an IR emitter.  However, your physical Apple TV controller does have such an emitter.  So why can’t my iPhone communicate to my Apple TV controller to tell it to adjust the volume?   

    If your using HomePods as default sound you can use iPhones physical volume buttons to control the sound in the Apple TV remote app.

    You can disable Face ID ever quicker than using a shortcut by pressing the power key on the iPhone 5 times really quickly. This will disable Face ID and you’ll need to use passcode to access device. 
    No, pressing the power key 5 times activates auto dialing emergency services. Check the settings. 
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