Apple has pushed its latest 16.4 beta to iOS developers, and it contains some interesting updates, including expanded emoji support, keyboard updates for certain languages, and support for web app notifications.
The new emoticons come from Unicode version 15.0, introduced in September. Some notable icons include a shaking face emoticon, a pushing hand that can totally be used as “I’ve got to stop you right there,” and a Khanda emblem representing Sikhism.
International keyboards are also receiving updates, including autocorrect being enabled by default for the Korean keyboard and predictive text support for Ukrainian.
In addition, some South Asian languages, including Urdu, Punjabi, and Gujarati, will have transliteration layouts in the new beta. It is supposed to allow people to type words in Latin letters and not be subject to English autocorrects. For years, South Asian iPhone users, myself included, had to wait for their devices to do so I study words through predictive text.
For anyone using Apple Pencil on compatible devices, hover now has support for tilt (altitude) and orientation (azimuth).
An update for Matter accessories is also included in the beta, which will enable “manual and automatic software update support” for Matter accessories. The feature could potentially allow accessories to be updated directly from the Home app, which should be easier to test because MacRumors reports that the beta version reintroduces the HomeKit architecture upgrade that Apple removed from iOS 16.2.
Apple is also introducing a switch to receive updates from developers in Software Update. The new option in the settings menu will automatically be enabled for devices enrolled in the developer program using a registered Apple ID, and will become the default way to install betas in the future. (Configuration profiles will no longer be used to grant access; you’ll just flip a software switch.)
Apple’s most recent update for the masses was iOS 16.3.1, with updates to the crash detection feature on new iPhones and Apple Watches and issues with Siri Find My requests on HomePods.