Apple released yesterday the Release Candidate version of iOS 16.4, watchOS 9.4 macOS 13.3 and the rest of the systems. The last beta version before the release of the final version probably next week. A version that, as has been happening with all of this cycle of betas, especially iOS 16.4 beta 1 and iOS 16.4 beta 2, brings new features.
New features ranging from the COVID notification system, to the audio quality during calls, to the detection of duplicate photos in the photo library of the Photos app. Small details that, cumulatively, make this update a really complete one.
Even more news for an update with many new features
In 2020, the COVID exposure notification system arrived to track contacts. A system designed to alert people of their proximity to others and to make it easier to take action in case of exposure. Now, three years later, Apple is going to remove this API from all our phones.
In the RC of iOS 16.4 Apple offers developers the possibility to communicate that the use of this API by health authorities is coming to an end. If so, those who had the functionality enabled will receive the following message: “Your health authority has disabled exposure notifications. Your iPhone is no longer registering nearby devices and will no longer be able to notify you of potential exposures. Previously collected exposure data is automatically deleted.”
The next new feature of iOS 16.4 in its latest beta is that microphone modes are coming to conventional calls. In iOS 15, Apple introduced the possibility of using two new microphone modes during Face Time calls: Voice Isolation or Background Sound. Now, these two modes will allow us to improve the quality of any call.
As the name itself indicates, in Voice Isolation the system will leave out all other noise, especially wind noise or conversations that can be heard around us, to focus on our voice and allow clear communication. Background sound will cause any ambient sound to be included in the call.
To use this functionality, all we have to do is open the Control Center during a call. Then tap on Microphone Mode and then select the option we are interested in from the list that appears.
The last big new feature of iOS 16.4 RC is the ability to find duplicate photos in shared photo libraries. Duplicate photo detection is one of the new features of iOS 16.4 that allows us to clean up our photo library. Until now, only of our photo library, because the images that came from a shared photo library in iCloud, were not part of the detection.
Now, with iOS 16.4 they will. And thanks to this, when we share a photo library with more people, we will be able to quickly detect and delete any image that is repeated. A very interesting change, because it is precisely in this kind of photo libraries where the possibility of duplicates is higher.
All in all, this is a beta version that still contributes to the long list of improvements that we will soon see officially. iOS 16.4, which we often refer to as the spring update, should be released next week with these new features and all those we have been seeing during the beta cycle. And from here, the focus will already jump to iOS 17, which we should see announced at WWDC 2023 next June.