After years of people complaining that the existing array of emojis failed to accurately reflect the racial diversity and varied relationships of contemporary society, Apple has released a significant iOS update that goes a long way towards resolving the problem.
Apple’s most recent iOS update, 8.3 includes both a wealth of new emojis, and a “skin tone picker” to the emoji selection extended keyboard. The process for accessing these new emoji is identical to how you access special accented characters: by holding down on the desired emoji and waiting a moment for the different skin tone iterations to appear.
This functionality is available for a variety of different emoji, ranging from all the hand gestures, “occupation” emoji (policeman, rescue worker, Santa, queen, bride, angel, etc.) and a selection of other random emoji. All in all, a cool new addition to iOS 8.3.
Perhaps even more of a reflection on the current social climate is the addition of same-sex couples, and families with same-sex parents. Granted, these new emoji don’t have the ability to be “racially modified” and are confined to standard Emoji Yellow, still, we’ll take progress however we can get it.
In other emoji news, Instagram just this week started using emoji as searchable hastags, so #AppleWatch can now be written and searchable as #🍎⌚️ and other neat things like that.
So with all the emoji news (who ever thought that would be a thing?) this week, go forth into the world and better express your thoughts and feelings via little tiny pictures, confident that Apple has found yet another way to push us all forward into a more open and accepting society.