The iOS 16.4 beta is out, at least for developers at the moment. And the big addition to iOS 16 this time around appears to be new emoji.
All told, the first iOS 16.4 beta features 21 emoji — 31 if you count the skin tone variations for what looks like a new "talk to the hand" gesture emoji. And they include a mixture of hearts, animals, food items and other graphics to pepper into your iMessages, emails and other communications.
Of particular note is a new Pink Heart emoji, which Emojipedia (opens in new tab) says was an oft-requested addition. It'll be joined by light blue and gray hearts as well.
There's one Smiley emoji in the mix — a vibrating head that I guess could be used to denote great mental distress or over-the-top reactions to shocking news. Animals seem to be the dominant theme, with emojis for a moose, goose, and donkey appearing, along with several food items like pea pod and ginger.
Here's a full list of the emojis that are appearing in iOS 16.4.
- Shaking Smiley Face
- Angel Wings
- Hand Fan
- Grey Heart
- Pink Heart
- Light Blue Heart
- Pea Pod
- Hair Pick
- Pushing hand right (six skin tone variations)
- Pushing hand left (six skin tone variations)
Emojis aren't the only addition to iOS 16.4, though from the looks of it, this update won't be as substantial as the iOS 16.1 and iOS 16.2 releases that came out last year. The former update flipped the switch on the iCloud Shared Photo Library feature along with third-part support for Live Activities, while the latter saw the arrival of Advanced Data Protection and a new karaoke feature for Apple Music.
Various reports of iOS 16.4 features include minor tweaks to the built-in Podcasts app — there's a new Channels menu and the Up Next queue will now include episodes from shows that you've listened to but don't follow. Each show page in Podcasts will now let you see how many unplayed episodes there are at the top of the page, and you'll be able to more easily identify "early access" episodes that come via an Apple Podcasts subscription.
iOS 16.4 also simplifies the process of updating beta software, letting you turn on automatic updates. Presumably that will apply to public betas as well as the developer beta. And iOS 16.4 reportedly adds support for push notifications for web apps.
iOS 16.4 is currently in developers' hands, with a public beta likely to follow in a day or so. If you want to give the software update an early try, we've got a guide on how to download the iOS 16 public beta, which also applies to the iOS 16.4 release. There's no indication as to when iOS 16.4 will be finalized for wide release, but we'd expect to see the update in the spring.