Apple launches Studio Display firmware 16.4 for macOS Ventura 13.3 beta users

New beta firmware for the Studio Display is available on Mac systems running the macOS Ventura 13.3 beta ahead of its public launch in a few weeks.

Apple's Studio Display and Mac Studio with keyboard and mouse
It’s unclear what beta firmware 16.4 includes | Image: Iewek Gnos/Unsplash
  • What’s happening? Apple has released new firmware for the Studio Display to macOS Ventura 13.3 beta testers, bumping the version number to 16.4.
  • Why care? Previous updates fixed issues with the built-in camera and speakers.
  • What to do? Unless you’re a developer, we recommend not installing this firmware to avoid problems that might occur when using prerelease software.

Apple is testing Studio Display firmware 16.4

The new firmware is available on Macs running the macOS Ventura 13.3 beta, which dropped on February 16, 2023. If you’re on the macOS Ventura 13.3 beta, you can update the Studio Display firmware in Settings → General → Software Update.

The monitor must be connected for the update to show up. Your Mac will restart to apply this update. Keep in mind that the update won’t show up for non-beta users.

The contents of the firmware are unknown, as Apple hasn’t provided a changelog. The Software Update screen only mentions that a new Studio Display firmware is available and that applying it will refresh the software on all connected displays.

The update weighs 641.4MB and bumps Studio Display software to version 16.4.

Where’s my changelog?

Apple will provide release notes once the firmware has been released to the public. The update’s contents will be detailed in Software Update and Apple’s support document that tracks changes in Studio Display firmware updates. This could very well be a maintenance release providing bug fixes and security patches.

In the past, Apple issued firmware updates to fix Studio Display issues like poor webcam quality and garbled audio. Apple has also launched the Studio Display Windows drivers to let folks use the monitor when running Microsoft’s operating system via Apple’s Boot Camp dual-booting feature.

Should you install beta firmware on your Studio Display?

You better steer away from this update if you’re not a developer. We don’t recommend installing prerelease software on devices you use daily.

The key features of the Studio Display

A still image from Apple's commercial for the Studio Display showcasing a creative professional editing an illustration on their Mac Studio and Studio Display, with the tagline "Introducing Studio Display" displayed near the top of the image
Image: Apple

Released on March 18, 2022, the Studio Display marked Apple’s return to this business after discontinuing the Thunderbolt Display and announcing its exit from the standalone monitor game.

The external monitor features a 27-inch LCD IPS panel with 5K resolution at 600 nits for brightness. It’s got three powered USB-C (10Gbit/s) ports out the back for peripheral devices and one powered Thunderbolt 3 port that offers 96W of charging.

The monitor runs the iPhone 11’s A13 Bionic with 64 gigabytes of storage. The CPU enables the display to provide features such as Hey Siri, Center Stage and spatial audio via its six-speaker system, even if the connected Mac doesn’t support them.

On the downside, the device does not support HDR, doesn’t have a mini-LED backlight and lacks ProMotion technology for dynamic refresh rates up to 120 Hz.