5 Things to Know About the iOS 16.4 Update
Apple’s confirmed a new iOS 16.4 update for iPhone and the software is currently in beta testing ahead of its official release later this year.
iOS 16.4 is a milestone upgrade which means it will bring more than just bug fixes and security patches to iPhone users. It’ll deliver some new features as well.
Apple hasn’t confirmed the iOS 16.4 release date yet and it will stay in beta for a bit longer. If you don’t want to wait for the stable release, you can try an early version of the software on your iPhone right now.
With iOS 16.4 in the works, we want to take you through everything there is to know about the next major iOS 16 update for iPhone.
Table of Contents
In this walkthrough we’ll take you through the iOS 16.4 update’s known changes, what you can expect from the iOS 16.4 release date and release time, information about the iOS 16.4 beta, and more.
iOS 16.4 Beta
If you want to start using iOS 16.4 on your iPhone you can do so right now.
Apple’s pushed the iOS 16.4 beta to developers which means those enrolled in the company’s developer program can download a pre-release version of the firmware right now.
The company’s also pushed the iOS 16.4 beta to those enrolled in the Beta Software Program. A developer account requires an annual fee while the Beta Software Program is free to anyone with a compatible device and working Apple ID.
Before you download the iOS 16.4 beta, note that pre-release software is typically always plagued with bugs and performance issues.
These issues could impact the performance of your core apps, your iPhone’s battery life, and its overall speed which can make it tricky to use as a daily driver.
You should be able to fix some problems on your own, but some bugs and performance issues will probably require a fix from Apple down the road.
If you can’t stand the iOS 16.4 beta’s performance on your iPhone, you can downgrade back to iOS 16.3.1. The downgrade path to other iOS firmware is closed.
Apple is currently on iOS 16.4 beta 4.
iOS 16.4 Release Date
Apple hasn’t confirmed the iOS 16.4 release date. As of right now, we expect the software to hit iPhones sometime in late March or early April.
Brazilian carrier Claro says it has been working with Apple to deliver 5G Standalone support in iOS 16.4 and that as of right now, the feature is set to go live in March. Those plans could change, but we could potentially see the iOS 16.4 release come later on this month.
In his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says the public iOS 16.4 release should take place “in the next three weeks or so.”
For more about the iOS 16.4 release date, check out our guide.
iOS 16.4 Release Time
We don’t have an official iOS 16.4 release date yet, but we know exactly when Apple will roll the software out on the date it chooses.
The official version of iOS 16.4 will most likely arrive in and around 10AM Pacific. It sometimes takes a few minutes for iOS updates to show up so there’s no need to worry if you don’t see new software right away.
Apple will also release iOS 16.4 beta updates for developers, and those enrolled in the Beta Software Program, around 10AM Pacific as well.
Keep this timeline in mind if you plan to install new versions of Apple’s iOS 16.4 beta, or the official version of iOS 16.4, right away.
iOS 16.4 Features
Apple’s milestone updates (x.x) almost always bring new features, enhancements, security patches, and bug fixes to iPhone users and that’s what you’ll get from iOS 16.4.
Developers are digging through the iOS 16.4 beta right now and they’ve found an assortment of changes including new emojis for the iPhone’s keyboard. Here are some of the biggest changes we’ve heard about thus far:
- 31 new emoji characters including pink heart, a shaking face, and a jellyfish.
- HomeKit architecture upgrades.
- Improvements to the Podcasts app.
- Always-on display battery consumption details in the Battery section of Settings. (iPhone 14 only)
- A new AppleCare coverage section in Settings that shows you warranty information for your devices.
- Expanded 5G support.
- Improvements to Shortcuts.
- Previews for Mastodon links.
- HomePod launch in Israel with support for Hebrew.
- Return of the Apple Books page turning animation.
- And more.
Apple could add to, or subtract, features from the iOS 16.4 beta as testing progresses and we’ll let you know if there are differences between the beta and the final release.
iOS 16.4 Jailbreak
If you still jailbreak, make sure you avoid the iOS 16.4 beta.
Developers have released a new jailbreak that works with iOS 15.0-iOS 16.2. Unfortunately, the jailbreak doesn’t work with iOS 16.4 and it’s only compatible with the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.
We’ll let you know if that changes.
Install iOS 16.3.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.3.1 update on your iPhone right away.
The iOS 16.3.1 update has two security patches on board including one for an actively exploited vulnerability. This makes it a very important release. For more on the security contents of iOS 16.3.1, check out Apple's security page.
As for older software, iOS 16.3 brought 10+ new security patches with it and you can learn more about all of those right here.
In addition, the software came with support for physical security keys for Apple ID. These will beef up your account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process. Learn more about the change right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.2, you'll get its changes with iOS 16.3.1. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site.
The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide.
If you decided to missed iOS 16.1.2, you'll get its solitary security patch with your upgrade. Learn more about it right here.
If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.
If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.
If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.
iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others."
The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.
Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks.