❤ Apple releases first iOS 16.4 public beta
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Following the release of iOS 16.4 beta 1 to developers on Thursday, Apple is rolling out the same update to public beta users. In addition, other updates such as watchOS 9.4 and tvOS 16.4 are also now available to those registered in the Apple Beta Software Program.
iOS 16.4 Public Beta 1 now available
iOS 16.4 comes with a lot of new features. These include the ability to enable push notifications for web apps, dozens of new emoji, new Shortcuts actions, interface tweaks to Apple Music, enhanced 5G support, and more. As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple is also bringing back the new architecture for the Home app with iOS 16.4.
Users who want to try out Apple’s latest public beta software can register their devices via the Apple Beta Software Program webpage. If you already have your iPhone or iPad registered in the program, you can download today’s update by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
In addition to iOS 16.4 beta 1 (build number 20E5212f), Apple has also released these updates:
- watchOS 9.4 beta 1, build number: 20T5222g
- tvOS 16.4 beta 1, build number: 20L5463g
- macOS Ventura 13.3 beta 1, build number: 22E5219e
Here’s how to automate iPhone’s always-on display with iOS 16.4
After debuting with the iPhone 14 Pro last fall, Apple continues to improve its always-on screen with software updates. The latest capability is the option to automate iPhone’s always-on display with iOS 16.4 and later.
After launching without much flexibility, Apple released the first always-on display customizations with iOS 16.2 in December. That allowed users to turn off colored wallpapers and notifications from the always-on screen.
Now with the iOS 16.4 beta, Apple has made it possible to schedule/automate when iPhone always-on is enabled via Focus Filters.
How to automate iPhone always-on display with Focus Filters
You’ll need to be running the iOS 16.4 beta to get this feature or wait for the iOS 16.4 public release. Check out our guide for how to install the free beta.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max
- Choose Focus > pick an existing Focus or create a new one
- Swipe down and under Focus Filters tap Add Filter
- At the bottom choose the new “Always On Display”
- The default will be to turn it on, tap Add in the top right corner
- To automate this, make sure you have either Smart Activation on or a schedule set for the Focus you’ve added always-on to (just above Focus Filters)
- You can also tie the always-on on/off filter to different Lock Screens by linking them with a Focus mode (long-press on your Lock Screen > tap Focus)
- Jump into another Focus mode and set always-on to off to automate the feature
How to enable iOS betas from the Settings app with 16.4 and later
Apple is introducing a notable change in how to get its developer and public beta updates on iPhone with iOS 16.4 and beyond. Follow along for a look at how to turn on iOS beta updates in Settings as well as some pros and cons that come with the change.
In the release notes for the first iOS 16.4 developer beta, here’s how Apple describes the change:
“Beginning with iOS & iPadOS 16.4 beta, members of the Apple Developer Program will see a new option to enable developer betas directly from Software Update in Settings. This new option will be automatically enabled on devices already enrolled in the program that update to the latest beta release. Your iPhone or iPad must be signed in with the same Apple ID you used to enroll in the Apple Developer Program in order to see this option in Settings. In future iOS and iPadOS releases, this new setting will be the way to enable developer betas and configuration profiles will no longer grant access.”
Interestingly, the option was set to “off” by default on my iPhone in the first developer build of iOS 16.4 and it also includes a button for public beta testers.
How to turn on iOS beta updates in Settings with 16.4 and later
Note: You’ll need to be running the iOS 16.4 beta to see the new option or wait for the iOS 16.4 public release.
- Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 16.4
- Tap General > Software Update
- Choose the new Beta Updates button (it may take a moment to appear)
- Now choose the Developer Beta or Public Beta
- The Apple ID you’re signed into your iPhone with needs to be the same as what you’re using for your Apple Developer account or Apple Public Beta program
After choosing the iOS 16 Developer Beta option in Settings, the iOS 16 Beta configuration profile is still showing for me in iOS 16.4 b1.
The good and bad
The main advantage of the change is it will be faster and easier to install either of the iOS betas on your iPhone or iPad with the ability to toggle it on in Settings. It should also be faster to switch between the public release and a beta release for those who may need to go back and forth.
However, the main downside is that with configuration profiles going away as a method to install future betas, developers won’t be able to share them with others. It could also be a headache in situations where developers need to run the beta but aren’t signed in with the same Apple ID on an iPhone or iPad as their Apple Developer account.
The full removal of configuration profiles may not happen immediately as Apple vaguely said “In future iOS and iPadOS releases” instead of giving a specific version or date.
iOS 16.4 also includes more features like new emoji, new Safari/browser capabilities, 5G Standalone support, fresh Apple Music animations, and more.