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Hands-on with 50+ new iOS 16.4 changes and features [Video]

On Monday Apple officially rolled out iOS 16.4 to the public, and it’s not hyperbole to say that’s it’s a huge release with tons of new changes, features, emoji, bug fixes, and more. In this hands-on video, I take a look at over 50 new features. Be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos like this.

What’s new in iOS 16.4?

As noted, iOS 16.4 is loaded with new additions. In my hands-on walkthrough I step through a large swath of what’s new. However, in this written post, I wanted to consider just a few of the new features that I found interesting.

Tons of Shortcuts updates

Outside of perhaps WebKit, the underlying framework behind Safari, the Shortcuts app gets the most attention in iOS 16.4. New shortcut actions include the ability to toggle Silence Unknown Callers, Auto Answer Calls, Night Shift, and True Tone. You’ll also find new actions for toggling the Always On Display found on the iPhone 14 Pro, shutting down your device, locking the screen, and more.

Video walkthrough: 50+ iOS 16.4 changes and features

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My favorite new action is dedicated to the Intercom feature, which works across iOS devices and HomePods. This new action can announce a message passed as input using Intercom and can accept both text and media files and output to all HomePods in your home.

A great way to drive those in your household nuts…

There are other Shortcuts changes included in 16.4 as well, such as the ability to find screen recordings within the Photos app, connect to a VPN, or to invoke the set playback destination action via Siri. The bottom line? If you’re a fan of Shortcuts, then iOS 16.4 is a must-have.

Music app UI changes

The Music app doesn’t gain any radical changes in iOS 16.4, but there are several UI tweaks that I enjoy. Specifically, the pop-up that used to appear when adding songs to your Library or Up Next queue have been significantly reduced in size and are now presented near the bottom of the interface. There’s also an updated Sort button, smaller playlist thumbnails, and a profile button that’s now available in the upper right-hand corner of every Music app tab.

An updated waveform next to the currently-playing track

My favorite new Music app feature, however, is the improved waveform that appears alongside track titles. Previously, the waveform was just a generic animation that had no bearing on the song that was playing. In iOS 16.4, the updated waveform correlates directly to the audio being played.

Rich previews for Mastodon in Message

While Mastodon is still a relative unknown among the masses, it’s already providing to be a thriving destination for techies. With that said, Mastodon links in Messages now appear with rich previews in iOS 16.4. It’s likely that such a change was endorsed by Apple Fellow and former head of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, who deleted his Twitter account and now has an official presence in the Fediverse.

Browser enhancements

Of all of the changes in iOS 16.4, no other area garnered more attention than WebKit, and by extension, Safari. As noted on the official WebKit website, 16.4 includes 135 new web features and over 280 polish updates.

Among some of the more obvious web-focused features in iOS 16.4 is support for creating Home Screen bookmarks directly from third-party browsers. In addition, opening these Home Screen bookmarks will now respect the established default browser configured in iOS’ settings.

For the first time, web apps now gain support for push notifications, and that includes notification badges, and compatibility with iOS’ Focus modes. This change should make web apps much more appealing than they’ve been in the past.

9to5Mac’s Take

Of course, the few features listed in this post are just a taste of everything that’s included in iOS 16.4. In my hands-on video, I walk through over 50 new changes and features included with this massive new update. In general, I feel like iOS 16 as a whole has seen the most updates of any major version of iOS that we’ve seen thus far, and there’s a chance that we’ll see even more new features as iOS 16.5, which is already available in its initial developer beta, matures.

What is your favorite new iOS 16.4 feature? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts.

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