Apple is launching new emojis with its beta roll-out of iOS 11.1 next week.
We’re feeling 😝 about this news.
Next week, Apple will launch a series of hundreds of new emojis in its iOS 11.1 software update, which will initially roll out in beta mode for iPhone and iPad users. Among them will be everything from dinosaurs to wizards in pointy hats to gender-neutral emojis, part of a broadening effort to expand the diversity of the current range of emojis and create more ways for users to communicate.
The icons that are headed our way also include a Muslim woman in a headscarf, a breastfeeding mom, a yogi, and a bearded hipster, as well as foods like a coconut, head of broccoli and a sandwich; extinct or mythical creatures like a T-Rex, zombie, and an elf; and even a bloodsucking vampire, just in time for Halloween. Moneyish previously reported the news of the upcoming emoji roll-out back in July, when Apple teased the initial announcement on World Emoji Day (yes, that’s a thing).
Emojis are now used at least 60 million times per day in Facebook postings, and a stunning five billion times daily in messages exchanged on Facebook’s Messenger app, according to AdWeek. What’s more, previous data from Swyft Media found that emoticons are used at least six billion times a day in text message communications between smartphones, according to a 2015 report from Digiday.
That said, emojis have come under fire for their lack of diversity in recent years. A 2015 article in Wired highlighted some issues, noting that Apple was criticized for years for the “lack of skin color options in its emoji, which was finally addressed in the iOS 8.3 update,” and that it could also use more “culturally diverse emoji … things like places of worship, popular food, clothing styles, transportation, and methods are still generally very westernized in appearance.” Perhaps that is why the Unicode Consortium — the body responsible for the creation and approval of new emojis — is undertaking this effort.
Apple will be the first software developer to carry these emojis. Given some of the new emojis’ lack of gender distinctiveness and the broad array of skin tones that will be introduced, it’s clear that Apple is intending to ramp up its diversity. This follows in line with past emoji expansions, which have introduced emoticons such as symbols for LGBTQ couples.
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