So far, iOS 13's major point updates have all been pretty exciting for iPhone. We've seen iOS 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3 come and go, offering more than 60 new features and changes combined to that very first version of iOS 13. While iOS 13.3.1 was a minor update, its successor, iOS 13.4, is a return to form.
As of Feb. 21, we've discovered 22 new improvements that iOS 13.4 (still in beta) brings to the table. Some will undoubtedly excite, like the addition of new Memoji stickers or the ability to control your car with just your iPhone. Some are smaller, under-the-radar changes many people could miss if they weren't pointed out. Big or small, it doesn't matter to us — any change for the better is worth reporting.
- Don't Miss: 200+ Exciting iOS 13 Features for iPhone
While Apple added an off switch for the Memoji stickers keyboard shortcut in iOS 13.3, it isn't shying away from the feature by any means. Instead, the company added nine new stickers in iOS 13.4. Those include:
- Face with Steam from Nose
- Smiling Face with Hearts
- Partying Face
- Face Screaming in Fear
- Winking Face with Tongue
- Tipping Hand
- Folded Hands
- Gesturing No
Mail sees a slight facelift in iOS 13.4 with the addition of two new options in the bottom toolbar when viewing an email. These additions were in iOS 12 and older but have finally made a comeback!
In previous versions of iOS 13, we could only "Delete" the email or hit "Reply," the latter of which would then open up a suite of options. Those two buttons are still here, but now two more are present: "Move," to change the email's folder, and "Compose," to start a new draft. All that's missing from the pre-iOS 13 days is "Flag," which did make a brief appearance in 13.4 just to be replaced by "Compose."
- Don't Miss: 22 New Features in iOS 13's Mail App
In iOS 13.4, Apple changed the Control Center layout slightly for iPhone models with Home buttons so that it looks like the version on Face ID models. With the new update, the network information is in the top left of the display, while the battery stats are in the top right. Before iOS 13.4, those two corners were empty on older Home button models. Now, if we could only get gesture controls too.
To make iOS and macOS more cohesive, Apple now lets developers combine iOS and macOS apps into one singular purchase. That means, if you buy a compatible app on the Mac App Store, you'll be able to download its iOS counterpart for free, just as you can for apps between iOS and iPadOS.
Originally intended for release as part of iOS 13, iCloud Folder Sharing was shelved to spring 2020 before being reintroduced with iOS 13.4. The feature turns the Files app into a Dropbox competitor, as it allows you to share an interactive folder with others over the web.
Would you like to control your car with your iPhone? 9to5Mac discovered a new CarKey API in iOS 13.4, which offers the potential to control NFC-compatible vehicles. Like Express Transit, the feature reportedly won't require Face ID or Touch ID to work, and it can even function when your iPhone runs out of juice.
You'll pair your iPhone to your car with a combination of the Wallet app and the car manufacturer's app, and you'll also be able to share "keys" with friends and family via the Wallet app on in iMessage conversations, similar to Apple Cash payments.
Speaking of vehicles, CarPlay gets an update in iOS 13.4, adding additional third-party navigation support and new call controls.
In the TV app's settings are new options to adjust if you can or can't stream over cellular (you always could before), as well as the quality of streaming on cellular and Wi-Fi connections.
- Use Cellular Data: By default, it's toggled off, but if you have a decent cellular plan, you can turn it on to stream movies and TV shows when you don't have Wi-Fi.
- Cellular: If you turn on the above setting, you can choose between "Data Saver" (up to 600 MB per hour) or "High Quality," which Apple says uses more data.
- Wi-Fi: There's no toggle for this one since how else would you stream anything without cellular data. But you can choose the same "Data Saver" and "High Quality" options. Only this time, Data Saver goes up to 1 GB per hour. You might want to use Data Saver here if you're connected to a personal hotspot or low on bandwidth.
The TV app's settings also includes options for downloading content. It's got the same three options as above with only a slight variation for "Cellular" and "Wi-Fi" where it's "Fast Downloads" instead of "Data Saver." There's also a setting to download additional languages.
- Use Cellular Data: It's precisely like the streaming setting above, and it's also off by default.
- Cellular: If you turn on the above toggle, you can choose between "Fast Downloads" or "High Quality," the latter of which will take longer.
- Wi-Fi: You can also choose between "Fast Downloads" or "High Quality" here.
- Audio Languages: If you want to listen to a film or TV series in a different language than your region's default, you can add audio files for other languages with your download. Matching subtitles will also be available for each language, as well as audio descriptions if you have that enabled in Accessibility. If your chosen language isn't available for a particular piece of content, Apple will divert to the default language.
The TV app gets a minor update, featuring "Family Sharing" in the "Library" tab. If you don't have any accounts set up for Family Sharing, you won't see the option.
Items you've purchased, whether from iTunes itself or from any synced digital accounts from Movies Anywhere show up in your "Library" tab in the TV app. Before iOS 13.4, there were only options for TV Shows and Movies up top, but now, aside from Family Sharing, there's a new "Genre" selection.
A really tiny addition to the TV app is a "Details" button underneath a show in a TV series. Before, there was nothing there, but you could still tap the tagline or episode name under the picture to view the details. You can still do that too, it's just more obvious now with the "Details" button there too.
According to 9to5Mac, when an app previously authorized for "While Using the App" location permission requests "Always" authorization, your iPhone will then show the location authorization prompt. It's not clear how the situation previously worked, but we feel like we've seen it before, whether our imagination or not.
With iOS 13.4, you can build shortcuts with a "Shazam It" action. You can make a shortcut as simple as asking Siri to "Shazam It," or you can add the command as part of a more complicated series of actions.
There's a new "Always Listen for 'Hey Siri'" option in Settings –> Accessibility –> Siri. When enabled, your iPhone will always look out for a Hey Siri command, even when your iPhone is face down or covered. In previous versions of iOS, Hey Siri won't work in either of those two conditions.
When you disable your VPN in iOS 13.4, iOS gives you some visual feedback. You'll see a temporary icon appear in the status bar.
In iOS 13.4, if you tell Siri to go to the home screen, she'll do it. In previous versions, the assistant will simply tell you how to get to the home screen yourself.
If you're listening to a song with an extended instrumental section, Apple Music's live lyrics will show an ellipsis (•••) to represent the lack of words. This ellipsis gains a solid white dot as the song gets closer to the lyrics.
Before, when you went to General –> Home Button in the Settings app, you'd see a page that says "Choose Your Clicks." Now, that reads "Home Button Haptic," and the description below it is a tad bit different too.
Apple's release notes state that the QuickType Keyboard now supports predictive input for Arabic and live conversion for Japanese and Chinese (Zhuyin).
While there was no official announcement or any up-front indicator that more computer mice would be supported on iPhone, the code for iOS 13.4 tells all. Now, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse and MX Anywhere 2 will work if you have one of those.
If you've never enabled AssistiveTouch before, you may see a pop-up in iOS 13.4 when you do asking you if you want to add "Dwell" and "Scroll" to your top-level AssistiveTouch menu. If you hit "Customize," it'll add them automatically. These options first appeared as options for the AssistiveTouch menu in iOS 13.3, along with "Hold and Drag."
If you have an iPad with an external keyboard, iOS 13.4 provides some additional functionality. Now, you can use keyboard shortcuts to interact with Photos, including navigating tags, searching, and creating albums. When in full screen, you can delete, duplicate, and enter edit mode with these shortcuts as well.
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