Soon you’ll be able to use an emoji to show that your battery is low. Or that you’re melting, are feeling ambivalent or patriotic, or getting teary-eyed. This is because the crop of fresh emoji approved in fall 2021 will debut when iOS 15.4 does.
Then they be used in texts, emails … wherever.
Fun new emoji for 2022
New emoji include heart hands, heart fingers, a peeking face and someone gasping. And there are hands reaching out, and a hand pointing toward the viewer.
Apple’s design for a saluting face raised a few eyebrows because it cuts off half the face in order to make room for the hand.
Fresh emoji that don’t involve people include a troll, a full or empty bird nest, bubbles, coral, beans, a playground slide and many more. Plus, emoji fans get more inclusivity options, including additional skin tones for handshakes. And a pregnant man.
All of these showed up in iOS 15.4 beta 1 and iPadOS 15.4 beta 1 when they went to developers Thursday. However, the operating system upgrades will need to go through weeks of testing before Apple releases them. So the new emoji won’t become available to all iPhone and iPad users for some time.
The end of a long approval process
The Unicode Consortium proposed the new emoji months ago. The emoji went through a rigorous approval process before the fresh additions made the cut. The process is complex because devices don’t send pictures to each other — they send Unicode numbers. It’s up to each device to turn the number into a picture. So the sender and receiver must agree on what those Unicode numbers represent.
The Unicode Consortium only offers reference designs — Apple, Google, Twitter and other companies that make software using emoji come up with their own versions.
One of the additions in iOS 15.4 highlights the sort of problems that can crop up in the process. Not all the platforms agree on what the earlier Face with Hand Over Mouth emoji should look like. Apple makes it someone gasping but most others show the person covering their face while they laugh. Unicode 14 will fix the problem by adding a gasping emoji.