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.
It’s likely iOS 16.4 will be released in late March, though we could also see the update introduced in the first week or two of April.
Apple has provided us with three developer betas and three public betas so far, and while the number of betas we get varies, we do often see at least four or five before a public launch. With that in mind, we get at least one more beta followed by a release candidate, which is a software update that Apple provides to testers that marks the same version of an update that’s expected to be delivered to the public.
Some past beta timelines for recent 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 candidates for an iOS 16.4 launch include Tuesday, March 28; Tuesday, April 4; and Tuesday, April 11. Software updates can also come on Mondays and Wednesdays, so the Mondays and Wednesdays of those weeks could also be the potential release dates.
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.
- 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.
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.Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16Related Forum: iOS 16
This article, “When Will Apple Release iOS 16.4?” first appeared on MacRumors.com
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