New emoji? Talk to the hand!


Proposed new emoji list shows we already have all the emoji we need
These are some of the emoji coming to Apple devices... probably in 2023.
Image: Emojipedia

Emoji are about visual communication, and the some of the new ones just approved say “Talk to the hand.” And there’s a new way to express love, too. Or there’s good news for everyone desperately waiting on a moose emoji.

Other new additions approved by the Unicode Consortium include a shaking face, a donkey, a jellyfish and a flute.

Fun new emoji for 2023

The meaning and emotion behind plain text messages can sometimes be hard for the reader to interpret. Adding an emoji adds context. And, of course, an emoji can serve as the whole message when it’s as simple as ♥️.

How emoji get used depends on users, of course. The two described as “leftwards pushing hand” and “rightwards pushing hand” could be used for a high five, as there’s not a good option for that now. Or they could say, “talk to the hand!”

Another of the new emoji is likely to get plenty of use: the pink heart. There are already hearts in a range of colors, but there were enough requests for a pink option for the Unicode Consortium to add it. Hearts in gray and light blue are also new.

The shaking face expresses a sort of frantic reaction to a work overload. Or any kind of overload.

Emoji 15.0
The Unicode Consortium made all these emoji canon in Unicode 15.0.
Image: Emojipedia

We might have reached peak emoji

Unicode 15.0 brings by far the shortest list of new emoji approved in years. It seems the Unicode Consortium thinks the already available collection is close to complete.

There were only 31 added in the latest version. Previous versions have added dozens and sometimes over 100.

A long approval process

These just-approved emoji were proposed back in July after months of debate. The process of proposing and approving these is complex because devices don’t send actual 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 assigns the Unicode numbers. It also offers reference designs to Apple, Google, Twitter and others that make software using emoji. These companies then come up with their own versions.

iOS 16 does not include these emoji – they weren’t even approved until after Apple released its new OS. They’ll be added to iPhone in an update in the coming months. The same is true for iPad and Mac.


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