Monday, March 27, 2023

iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4

Juli Clover (release notes, security, enterprise, developer):

iOS 16.4 adds 21 total new emoji characters including shaking head, pink heart, blue heart, gray heart, donkey, moose, black bird, goose, wing, jellyfish, hyacinth, and more.

It also includes Safari web notifications for websites added to the Home Screen, Voice Isolation for clearer cellular phone calls, the return of the Apple Books page turning animation, updates to Podcasts, new HomeKit architecture, and a number of other small changes and tweaks.

Federico Viticci:

Continuing the trend from last year, there are some new actions in Shortcuts for iOS and iPadOS 16.4. Unfortunately, rather than moving the app forward in meaningful ways for power users, these actions mostly revolve around exposing app settings and various toggles to Shortcuts.


Like I said, I’m a bit disappointed that the new actions added to Shortcuts in the past year mostly involve the ability to control on/off settings with no deeper controls.


There are Mastodon link previews in Messages, Mail, and Notes.

Juli Clover:

Voice Isolation has been available for VoIP calls that use FaceTime, WhatsApp, and other apps on devices running iOS 15 or macOS Monterey or later, and it is designed to significantly improve microphone quality when on calls by cutting down on background noise. Until now, it was not available for cellular conversations, with Apple offering no way to improve call quality.

On a FaceTime call, Voice Isolation can be enabled by activating control center, tapping on the Mic Mode option, and choosing the Voice Isolation option, so the feature may be able to be activated in a similar way for voice calls.

Juli Clover:

The iOS 16.4 update that was released today fleshes out the built-in order tracking function that’s available in the Wallet app for purchases made using Apple Pay.

Chance Miller (via Eric Schwarz):

In iOS 16.4, Apple has added underlying support for health departments to end their support of the Exposure Notifications API. When a health authority decides to end support for the feature, users will see a message on their iPhone informing them of that decision.


Update (2023-03-28): Rui Carmo:

I found a stupid bug already: Starting an app from the dock in iPadOS on landscape orientation renders a badly distorted icon in the middle of the zooming window as it launches.

Update (2023-03-29): Juli Clover:

In this guide, we’ve highlighted all of the changes introduced in iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4.


Learn about the new features in Shortcuts for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS.

Ricky Mondello:

iOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3 include some nice tweaks to Apple’s password manager. (This isn’t breaking news; it’s in the software.)

(1) You can “Copy Strong Password” on a strong password suggestion in Safari. See the “Other Options” menu. On Mac, you can also right-click on the field!

(2) On iOS, adding a new password in “Passwords” will prefill a new strong password.

(3) Siri now understands “+” in “What’s my Disney+ password?” and “What’s my Paramount+ password?” (Requires auth; safe; try it!)

Joe Rossignol:

First, a new Channels menu in the Podcasts app provides a list of podcast channels all in one place on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. A channel allows a creator or brand to list all of their podcasts in one place for listeners to easily discover.

Second, the Up Next queue now includes episodes listeners have saved to their Library and episodes that they play from shows they do not follow[…]

Tim Hardwick:

After updating Apple devices to the latest software, users can once again opt to upgrade any homes set up in the Home app to the new Home architecture, which Apple says brings faster, more reliable performance, especially for smart homes with a lot of smart accessories installed.

John Gruber:

Seems to me [voice isolation] ought to be in the interface for the call itself in the Phone app, like the controls for switching the audio output.

Steve Canon:

Two big low-level improvements in the macOS 13.3, iOS 16.4, etc releases that I am very happy about:

  • much, much faster strto[f,d,ld]
  • Accelerate has an updated LAPACK (opt in via -DACCELERATE_NEW_LAPACK) with a bunch of new API, bug fixes, and ILP64 bindings (-DACCELERATE_LAPACK_ILP64).

David Smith:

This turns out to be surprisingly important for e.g. JSON parsing performance

Meek Geek:

Apple added a screen in the iOS 16.4 update to explicitly opt users back into automatic OS updates. Expecting some to be surprised by this flipped switch when their devices auto update in future.

Pierre Igot:

No matter how many times I tell #iOS to not use cellular data for its updates, it insists on asking me whether I want to authorize it to use cellular data to download the latest iOS updates, even though the phone is right here in my office, in an environment where there is a strong wifi signal and absolutely no need to use cellular data for ANYTHING.

Where is my “Don’t EVER Use Cellular Data For This” button, Apple?

This happens for me, too.

Greg Pierce:

iOS 16.4 seems to have really hosed the display of SiriUITipView in shipping apps. You might want to review if you have any in your apps.

Update (2023-04-04): Clarko:

iOS 16.4 and friends include 32 changes to systemImage / SF Symbols

Tim Hardwick:

Apple is currently trying to resolve an issue with its Weather service according to its System Status webpage, although the issue summary only lists next-hour precipitation as unavailable for Alaska “due to a data provider outage,” when in fact numerous regions and forecast types are down.

Apple says the issue affecting “some users” began around five hours ago as of writing and is “ongoing,” although some iPhone users are reporting that they have had intermittent issues with Weather data since the iOS 16.4 update was released a week ago.

Joe Rossignol:

Apple is preparing to release iOS 16.4.1 for the iPhone, according to a source with a proven track record for upcoming software updates.

Update (2023-04-05): Jamie Cuevas:

All iPhone and iPad users should be aware that installing the iOS 16.4 update for iPhone or iPadOS 16.4 update for iPad will enable the system settings for automatically installing and downloading future iOS/iPadOS software updates to that device.


Furthermore, the splash screen on iPhone and iPad gives only two choices; the default is “Continue” which sets the device to both download and install future software updates automatically, or the secondary option to ‘Only Download Automatically’. This is a false choice (and arguably a UX dark pattern), because despite not being listed on this particular setup screen, users can actually choose to manually enable or disable either or both the automatic downloads and installations of future software updates for iOS and iPadOS.

Update (2023-04-21): Ricky Mondello:

iOS 16.4 fixes a longstanding bug in the Settings app where opening a deep link when a search was active wouldn’t properly open what the link pointed to. This fix is particularly helpful if you’re using my Passwords shortcut on your Home Screen.

George Cox:

Was complaining about not being able to force a popover to display as a popover in compact size classes, then noticed iOS 16.4 adds this #SwiftUI modifier: .presentationCompactAdaptation(.none). It was added with several other helpful sheet related modifiers.

Kyle Hughes:

The .task() modifier in SwiftUI hasn’t worked on List rows well / at all until iOS 16.4 and now it is perfect.

Mario Guzman:

iOS 16.4.x changed again how NavigationSplitViews in #SwiftUI apparently work on iPad. I’m not using it any differently than their sample project but now whenever I go back into my app, any selected item in my sidebar is deselected upon re-entry. This was after upgrading to Xcode 14.3 and running on iPadOS 16.4.x with no code changes.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

"the return of the Apple Books page turning animation"

Literally the first change Apple has made to their eBook reader since the iBooks to Apple Books redesign that didn't make the app worse with no upside... and it's restoring a feature they previously removed.

Rob McDougall

I am so pleased they’ve added Silence Unknown Callers to shortcuts. I now have the option toggle off when I get to my workspace and pack on again when I leave - so, like having a “work phone” anyone can contact me on.

Michael McShane

After updating to 16.4 on iPadOS iPad 9th Gen, my iBooks content is missing paragraphs. The issue I was somewhat fixed after deleting iBooks and reloading it from the App Store but the issue returned. It is not impacting my iPhone 12 after I also updated that to 16.4. Previously iBooks was fine on 16.3.
If I change the font size, that sort of fixes issues but it returns to be a problem. Weird.

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