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Apple’s new iOS 16.4 developer beta includes new emoji, web app notifications, and more

Apple’s new iOS 16.4 developer beta includes new emoji, web app notifications, and more


Apple’s iOS 16.4 developer beta is now available with emoji 15.0 support and roman keyboard support for Punjabi, Urdu, and Gujarati.

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Illustration depicting several Apple logos on a lime green background.
Illustration: Kristen Radtke / The Verge

Apple has pushed its latest iOS developer beta version 16.4, and it contains some interesting updates, including expanded emoji support, keyboard updates for certain languages, and support for web app notifications.

The new emoji come from Unicode version 15.0, introduced in September. Some notable icons include a shaking face emoji, a pushing hand that could totally be used as an “imma stop you right there,” and a Khanda emblem representing Sikhism.

International keyboards are getting updates, too, including autocorrect being enabled by default for the Korean keyboard and predictive text support for Ukrainian.

New emoji in Unicode 15.0.
New emoji in Unicode 15.0.

In addition, some South Asian languages, including Urdu, Punjabi, and Gujarati, will have transliteration layouts in the new beta. Presumably, it should let people type words using roman letters and not be subject to English autocorrections. For years, South Asian iPhone users, including myself, have had to wait for their devices to learn words through predictive text.

There’s also a new WebKit update included in the iOS 16.4 beta that enables notifications for web apps, which was announced last year during WWDC. Web apps can ask users to allow push notifications — for instance, a “subscribe” button — and those permissions will appear alongside other apps in notification settings.

For anyone using the Apple Pencil on compatible devices, hover now has support for tilt (altitude) and orientation (azimuth).

An update for Matter accessories is also included in the beta release, which will allow for “manual and automatic software update support” for Matter accessories. The feature could potentially allow for accessories to directly update from the Home app, which should be easier to test, as MacRumors reports the beta reintroduces the HomeKit architecture upgrade that Apple removed from iOS 16.2.

Apple is also introducing a toggle for getting developer updates in Software Update. The new option in the settings menu will automatically be enabled for devices enrolled in the developer program using a registered Apple ID and will become the default way to get betas installed in the future. (Configuration profiles will no longer be used to grant access; you’ll just flip the software switch.)

Finally, iOS 16.4 has a new toggle for 5G standalone support, currently announced by T-Mobile. The new feature could enable speeds up to 3Gbps.

Apple’s most recent update for the masses was iOS 16.3.1, with updates to the Crash Detection feature on new iPhones and Apple Watches and issues with Siri Find My requests on HomePods.