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New emoji will arrive in iOS 16.4 and macOS Ventura 13.3

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Apple finally seeded to developers iOS 16.4 beta 1 and macOS 13.3 beta 1 on Thursday. The same goes for the initial betas of iPadOS 16.4, watchOS 9.4 and tvOS 16.4.

The wait for new betas has been much longer than usual. The last round of new prerelease versions was in mid-January.

They bring in a collection of new emoji, an improvement for Apple Pencil, and a better way for devs to work with betas.

Apple finally begins beta testing iOS 16.4 and macOS Ventura 13.3

The full, public release of iOS 16.3, macOS 13.2 and all the other Apple operating systems came a month ago, with some minor changes. Then, mid-February brought a round of bug fixes and other tweaks.

Apple typically begins betas testing the next version of its versions OSs a day after the debut of the previous one. Not this time.

Instead, it made developers wait nearly a month for the first betas of iOS 16.4, macOS 13.3, iPadOS 16.4, watchOS 9.4 and tvOS 16.4.

What’s new?

The coming updates will add support for Unicode 15.0 Emoji to many Apple devices. Those include a new way to express love, a shaking face, a donkey, a jellyfish and a flute.

And Apple is adding a new way to deal with betas. According to the release notes, “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.”

Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Beta Update.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Plus, Apple Pencil hover provides Tilt and Azimuth support. This feature is only available for the latest iPad Pro, though.

iOS 16.4, etc. are only for developers… for now

Currently, these betas are only for those who pay an annual fee to be in Apple’s developer program. But if Apple follows its previous habits, public beta versions will be along.

The full non-beta releases aren’t likely for at least a month. They might wait until the new Mac Pro and 15-inch MacBook Air are introduced in March or April.

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