When Will Apple Release iOS 16.4?
Apple's next operating system update will be iOS 16.4, with the software in beta testing as of February 16. Software updates go through several rounds of testing with developers and public beta testers ahead of launch, so when can we expect to see iOS 16.4 provided to the public?
Officially, Apple says that the iOS 16.4 and its sister updates iPadOS 16.4, macOS Ventura 13.3, tvOS 16.4, and watchOS 9.4 will be released in the "spring." The spring equinox (aka the first day of spring) is on Monday, March 20, and the season will last through June 21.
Apple delivered a release candidate version of iOS 16.4 to developers and public beta testers on Tuesday, March 21, indicating that a full release is very close. Unless a significant issue is discovered, this will be the version distributed to all users.
A public release typically comes about a week after the release candidate version is provided to beta testers, as seen in previous updates:
- iOS 16.3 - The RC was released on January 18 after two betas, a launch followed on January 23.
- iOS 16.2 - The RC was released on December 7 after four betas, a launch followed on December 13.
- iOS 16.1 - The RC was released on October 18 after five betas, a launch followed on October 24.
- iOS 15.6 - The RC was released on July 12 after six betas, a launch followed on July 20.
- iOS 15.5 - The RC was released on May 12 after four betas, a launch followed on May 16.
With these dates in mind, the most probable candidate for an iOS 16.4 launch is Tuesday, March 28. The new Apple Music Classical app is also being released on March 28, so it's likely we will see everything on the same day. Software updates can also come on Mondays and Wednesdays and Apple Music Classical does not technically require iOS 16.4, so a release on March 27 or March 29 is also possible.
iOS 16.4 Features
iOS 16.4 is a major update with a long list of features. We've summarized some highlights below, but everything new in iOS 16.4 can be found in our dedicated guide.
- New emoji characters that include shaking head, pink heart, blue heart, gray heart, donkey, moose, black bird, goose, wing, jellyfish, hyacinth, pea pod, ginger, fan, comb, flute, and maracas.
- Safari Web Push Notifications for apps saved to an iPhone or iPad's Home Screen.
- The option to add websites and web apps to the Home Screen from third-party browsers like Chrome.
- Voice Isolation for cellular phone calls.
- Option to remove duplicate photos from iCloud Shared Photo Library
- A return to the traditional "curl" page turning animation in Apple Books.
- A re-release of the HomeKit architecture upgrade that was pulled from iOS 16.2.
- Updates to the Podcasts app interface.
- Crash Detection optimization for iPhone 14 models
At launch, iOS 16.4 will be able to be installed on all devices that are capable of running iOS 16, and it will be a free update. We are expecting iOS 16.4 to be one of the last major updates to iOS 16, with Apple set to turn its attention to iOS 17 as June's WWDC event approaches.