Today is World Emoji Day. The unofficial “holiday” dedicated to celebrating our modern day hieroglyphics. It also provides a good excuse for Apple to announce the release of 70 new emojis that will be ready for all to use when the iOS 12 update comes out at the end of the year.
Your eyes do not deceive you. Apple has people emojis with different shades of hair—and even one for bald people. The update also includes new smiley faces. Now you won’t have to be limited to using the streamer emojis ?? to convey your celebratory mood. And during the long harsh winters, Apple has you covered when there are no words to explain how freezing it is in your apartment.
Apple is only giving a sneak peak of the many emojis that are coming out this year. Have you been wishing for an infinity symbol, amulet, or superhero emoji? Are these emojis designed how you imagined them to look?
Emojis actually need to be formally approved before they get released. But not by Apple. All emojis go through an approval process spearheaded by a nonprofit company, Unicode Consortium. Unicode decides what characters and emojis are released each year. They comb through all the proposals for emojis, but it is up to individual companies if they wish to support and carry an emoji for its users. And if you ever wondered why all emojis look different from Apple to different Android devices, it’s because each company comes up with their own design.
And actually, anyone can submit emojis for approval—it’s not just big companies like Apple. In 2016, 16-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi designed a hijab emoji that got approved by Unicode. She said that many of her friends had emojis that looked like them, but that wasn’t the case for her. Her proposal to Unicode included making different types of headscarves in hopes to normalize them and help undo the stigma around them.
So these emojis are just a few of what’s to come from Apple’s newest series. And since emojis are now deeply ingrained in our culture, Alhumedhi’s call for more representation is hopefully picking up some traction with big brands like Apple. The jury’s still out for how inclusivity of Apple’s newest line of emojis. We’ll see how much the company steps up its game when iOS 12 debuts.
And while Apple is announcing its new emojis, it’s really World Emoji Day—not Apple Emoji Day. Don’t forget about those Android users out there. We exist too ?