Apple is currently testing iOS 16.4 before an expected release later this month. Apple traditionally slips new features in during the beta testing cycle and today’s iOS 16.4 Release Candidate is no exception. Let’s see what’s new in the Release Candidate.
Cellular Call Voice Isolation
The iOS 16.4 Release Candidate includes voice isolation for cellular calls, according to the release notes that Apple shared today. The feature is designed to significantly improve microphone quality on cellular calls by cutting down on background noise.
Apple says Voice Isolation “prioritizes your voice and blocks out ambient noise around you,” making your phone calls clearer, allowing you to better hear the person you’re chatting with and vice versa.
While Voice Isolation has been available for VoIP calls on some apps, including FaceTime, WhatsApp, and other apps since the release of iOS 15 and macOS Monterey or later, this is the first time the feature has been available for cellular phone conversations.
While on a FaceTime call, the Voice Isolation feature is enabled by activating Control Center, tapping on the Mic Mode icon, and choosing the Voice Isolation option. The feature is likely to be able to be activated in a similar way when on a voice call.
Duplicate Images Detections Expands to iCloud Shared Library
The iOS 16.4 RC update also expands support for detecting duplicate images to the iCloud Shared Photo Library.
In iOS 16, Apple added a duplicate detection function for the Photos app. When the app detects duplicate images, the Photos app will display a “Duplicates” folder in the “Utilities” album section. In this section, users can merge all of their duplicate images.
The iOS 16.4 update brings the duplicate detection option to the iCloud Shared Photo Library. Apple says that after installing iOS 16.4, users can detect duplicate photos and videos in their iCloud Shared Photo Library, allowing them to merge them to cut down on duplicate images that use an unnecessary amount of storage space.
References to New AirPods and AirPods Case
The iOS 16.4 release candidate appears to indicate that a new set of AirPods is on the way in the near future. As shared on Twitter by user @aaronp613, the beta includes references to AirPods with a model number of A3048 and an AirPods case that has a model number of A2968.
Exclusive: iOS 16.4 references new AirPods with the model number A3048 and a new AirPods case with the model number A2968
— Aaron (@aaronp613) March 21, 2023
It should be noted that we haven’t heard any rumors that new AirPods are on the way, and that Apple last refreshed the wireless earbuds in 2021, making it a bit soon to expect an updated model.
The mention could indicate a minor update, such as USB-C charging in place of the traditional Lightning connector for the charging case. (Apple needs to begin converting its Lightning connector-based devices and accessories over to USB-C to comply with new regulations in the European Union.
iOS 16.4 RC Release Notes
Apple’s full release notes for the update are below:
This update includes the following enhancements and bug fixes:
– 21 new emoji including animals, hand gestures, and objects are now available in emoji keyboard
– Notifications for web apps added to the Home Screen
– Voice Isolation for cellular calls prioritizes your voice and blocks out ambient noise around you
– Duplicates 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 dim video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected
– Fixes an issue where Ask to Buy requests from children may fail to appear on the parent’s device
– Addresses issues where Matter-compatible thermostats could become unresponsive when paired to Apple Home
– Crash Detection optimizations on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models