Apple has been testing iOS 16.4 beta since last month, and the update comes with multiple new features and enhancements – which includes new emoji and faster 5G Standalone support for compatible carriers. While Apple isn’t saying a word about when iOS 16.4 will be available to the public, a Brazilian carrier has revealed that the update is expected to be released later this month.
iOS 16.4 adding 5G Standalone for iPhone users
One of the new features of iOS 16.4 is support for 5G Standalone, which is the name of the 5G network that uses dedicated equipment, while 5G Non-Standalone is based on LTE network infrastructure. The first beta of iOS 16.4 enabled 5G SA for T-Mobile customers in the US, while the second beta enabled it for Brazilian carriers Vivo and TIM Brasil.
Interestingly, Brazilian carrier Claro told MacMagazine that it has been working with Apple to enable 5G Standalone for iPhone owners. More specifically, Claro said that users will have access to this new technology “in March of this year” with the release of iOS 16.4.
Here’s the full statement shared by the carrier:
Claro informs that 5G in Standalone (SA) mode will be available in all iPhones compatible with the technology, as of the release of the final version of iOS 16.4, scheduled for March this year. The company points out that since the launch of Claro 5G+ in July 2022, the carrier already offers access to 5G SA in all smartphones on the market that have this technology available, such as Samsung Galaxy S23, Moto Edge 30 Pro 5G, among others.
While Apple’s plans may change, the statement pretty much confirms that iOS 16.4 will be released to the public in the coming weeks. Another thing to keep in mind is that while 5G SA works with all 5G-enabled iPhone models in theory, only iPhone 14 users are seeing the option in the current beta.
9to5Mac also found evidence that Japanese carrier Softbank will also enable 5G Standalone on iPhone with iOS 16.4.
More about iOS 16.4
In addition to 5G Standalone support and new emoji, iOS 16.4 also adds previews for Mastodon links in the Messages app, updates to the Apple Music and Podcasts apps, the return of the page-turning effect in Apple Books, and minor tweaks to the AppleCare coverage menu in the iOS Settings app.
iOS 16.4 beta is currently available for developers and registered users of the Apple Beta Software Program.
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