Apple Releases macOS Ventura 13.3, watchOS 9.4, tvOS 16.4, HomePod 16.4 Software, and Studio Display 16.4 Firmware

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Alongside iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4, Apple on Monday also released macOS Ventura 13.3, watchOS 9.4, tvOS 16.4, HomePod 16.4 software, and new Studio Display 16.4 firmware.

macOS Ventura 13.3

The macOS Ventura 13.3 update is a free download and can be downloaded and installed on compatible Macs in the “General” -> “Software Update” section of System Settings.

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The update brings several new features and fixes, including:

  • 21 new emoji characters including hand gestures, animals, and objects
  • The “remove background” option in Freeform allows users to automatically isolate subjects in images
  • Photos “Duplicates” album adds support for detecting duplicate photos and videos in iCloud Shared Photo Libraries
  • Accessibility setting to automatically dim video when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected
  • VoiceOver support for Weather maps
  • Fixes issue where Trackpad gestures occasionally stop responding
  • New keyboard layouts for Akan, Hausa, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Yoruba
  • Fixes bug that may cause Ask to Buy requests from children to fail to appear on a parent’s device
  • Fixes bug where VoiceOver may become unresponsive after using Finder
  • Transliteration support for Punjabi, Gujarati, and Urdu keyboards

Apple says some features may not be available in all regions, or on all devices.

For information about the security content of the macOS Ventura 13.3 update, visit:

We expect this to be one of the final updates to macOS Ventura 13, as Apple is expected to preview a new version of macOS at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June.

watchOS 9.4

watchOS 9.4 brings several new features and fixes to the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer.

watchOS 9.4 is available as a free download via the “Watch” app on the iPhone by tapping “General” -> “Software Update.” The Apple Watch needs to be charged to at least 50% battery, needs to be connected to a charger, and needs to be in the range of the connected iPhone.

The watchOS 9.4 update brings several updated features, including:

  • Wake-up alarms can no longer be silenced using the “cover to mute” gesture to help avoid accidental alarm cancellations during sleep
  • Cycle Tracking with cycle deviation alerts and retrospective ovulation estimates are now supported in two new countries, Moldova and Ukraine
  • AFib History is now available in new countries, including Colombia, Malaysia, Moldova, Thailand, and Ukraine

Information about the security content of Apple software updates can be found at this website:

watchOS 9.4 is expected to be one of the final updates to watchOS 9, as Apple is expected to debut watchOS 10 at WWDC.

tvOS 16.4

tvOS updates often focus on bug fixes and improvements rather than any public-facing new features.

The free tvOS 16.4 update can be downloaded via the Settings app on your Apple TV by going to the “System” app, then clicking on “Software Update.” Apple TV units that have automatic software updates enabled will receive the tvOS 16.4 update automatically.

The 16.4 update brings a new accessibility option called “Dim Flashing Lights,” which automatically dims the display brightness when flashes of light or strobe effects are detected in the content. It also brings performance and stability improvements.

Apple updates its dedicated tvOS support document following each new tvOS release.

Apple is expected to debut tvOS 17 at WWDC in June, so this may be one of the final tvOS 16 updates we’ll see.

HomePod 16.4 Software

Apple has released new 16.4 software for the HomePod and HomePod mini. Apple’s release notes say the update brings stability and performance improvements.

New software is usually installed automatically on the HomePod unless the feature has been disabled. Users can also manually update their HomePod(s) in the Home app by doing the following:

  1. Open the “Home” app.
  2. Tap on the “Home” icon in the upper-left-hand corner of the app display.
  3. Users with only one HomePod setup will be taken directly to settings and can skip to Step 5. Users that have multiple homes set up will tap “Home Settings” on the sheet that appears.
  4. Tap the desired home.
  5. Scroll to “Software Update.”
  6. Pull down from the top of the iPhone or iPad screen to check for available updates.

Tapping on “Software Update” will display the currently installed version of the HomePod software on your HomePod or HomePod mini. Automatic updates can be toggled off if you wish.

If an update is available, tap the “Install” button to update your smart speaker. Users with more than one HomePod or HomePod mini in their home can update all of their smart speakers at the same time.

Studio Display 16.4 Firmware

Studio Display owners can update their display’s firmware by connecting it to a Mac. Go to “System Settings” -> “Software Update” to install the new firmware.

Apple’s release notes say the Studio Display Firmware Update 16.4 brings new support for in-field recalibration of the display via the Pro Display Calibrator. It also allows for specific color workflows requiring custom calibration by an in-house spectroradiometer. Minor stability improvements are also a part of the update.

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