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Apple releases iOS 16.4 with new emojis, web push notifications, voice isolation for calls and more

Apple today released the iOS 16.4 update for users, which includes a number of new features, such as an expanded set of emojis, voice isolation for calls, website push notifications and more. . Users can update to the latest version by going to Settings > General > Software Update.

While iOS updates often simply fix security flaws or change smaller settings, those that offer new emojis or expanded functionality are often more popular with consumers, leading to high download demand. This means that you may have to wait a bit to install the latest update on your device.

With iOS 16.4, users get 31 new emojis. (The release notes refer to “21” new emoji, but that has nothing to do with how variations are counted).

Among the new additions are a shaking face, the long-awaited pink heart, two growing hands, a Wi-Fi symbol, and others, including various animals and objects. The Unicode Consortium approved these emojis last year, and it was announced in February that they would be available with the latest iOS update.

The new set also includes gray and light blue hearts, folding fan, ginger, pea pod, jellyfish, moose, goose, hair pick, maracas, flute and more.

You can read more about the new emojis here.

Voice isolation

Another new feature is voice isolation for cell calls which will prioritize your voice and block out ambient noise around you. This will make phone calls clearer because you will be able to hear the voice of the person talking and not what is happening in the background like other people talking or noises from their surroundings. The feature was already available for FaceTime calls and other VoIP applications, but not for cellular (until now).

To enable the feature, you’ll need to open Control Center during the call, tap Microphone Mode, and then choose Voice Isolation from the list.

Web push notifications

Last year at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple showed off a feature that allows developers to send web-based push notifications to end users. The company rolled out this feature for Safari 16.1 with an update to macOS Ventura. Now it allows iOS developers to send a notification to users (after asking for permission), when the user has pinned a web app to their home screen. This feature could be immediately useful to some of Twitter’s newer rivals like Post and T2 who haven’t yet built native iOS versions of their apps but still want to alert users to important conversations.

But it also allows Apple to counter claims that its App Store is the only way to reach mobile consumers, which could help it fight antitrust regulations and other lawsuits.

And more…

The update’s release notes also reference a few other tweaks and fixes, including the following:

  • Duplicate Album in Photos expands support to detect duplicate photos and videos in an iCloud Shared Photo Library
  • VoiceOver support for maps in the Weather app
  • Accessibility setting to automatically darken video when light flashes or strobe effects are detected
  • Fixes an issue where purchase requisition requests from children may not appear on the parent’s device
  • Addresses issues where Matter-enabled thermostats may become unresponsive when paired to Apple Home
  • Collision detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models

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