Emojis coming to iOS will be more inclusive

By

Here’s a handful of the emoji headed for your iPhone.
Here’s a handful of the emoji headed for your iPhone.
Photo: Unicode Consortium

If you’ve been frustrated because there’s not a sloth emoji, the Unicode Consortium has come to your rescue. It’s just announced lots of new emojis that will likely make their appearance in this fall’s iOS update.

These reflect the diversity in our society, including men and women in wheelchairs, people who are deaf, and people who are blind. 

Technically, there are 230 emojis being added, but many of them include many options for skin and hair color. For example, there are 74 variations on two people holding hands.

Enough animals for a (small) zoo

The Unicode Consortium’s additions for 2019 include a flamingo, an otter, an orangutan, and a skunk. In the food category, there’s a waffle, a head of garlic, an onion, a juice box, an oyster, and more.

There are people kneeling, a yawning face, fingers pinching, and a grab bag of fairly random objects

Emojipedia created a video of all the additions:

Not coming soon

All the details on this update — Emoji 12.0 for those keeping track — will be finalized in March. The Consortium created sample images for all these emoji but Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. make their own versions. This allows the companies to match the style of other graphics in their operating systems.

This is possible because when someone texts an emoji they aren’t sending an image. What’s transferred is a unicode that the receiving device translates back into a picture.

It’s possible these changes could be included in operating system updates before iOS 13 and macOS 10.15, but waiting until fall is a strong possibility.

Emojis can be surprisingly controversial. There have been brouhahas over companies making gun emojis into toys, or the nightmare of bagelgate.