SINGAPORE — In celebration of World Emoji Day (17 July), Apple is giving us a sneak peek of new emoji coming your way, bringing a mix of diversity alongside popular categories of food, animals, activities and smiley faces.
The word ‘emoji’ was crowned Oxford Dictionary Word-of-the-Year winner in 2015, and an emoji movie was also made in 2017.
In a major update to the Holding Hands emoji typically used to represent couples and relationships, users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender, to personalise the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.
Following Apple’s proposal to the Unicode Consortium last year to introduce more disability-themed emoji, a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg will be available in the emoji keyboard.
Other emoji updates include a new smiley face for yawning, a one-piece swimsuit, new food items including a waffle, falafel, butter and garlic, and new animals like the sloth, flamingo, orangutan and skunk.
Fifty-nine new emoji designs will be available this fall with a free software update for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Thousands of emoji are currently available, including emotive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, more professions, various clothing options, food types, animals, mythical creatures and more. The new emoji are created based on the approved characters in Unicode 12.0.