118 new emojis are coming to iPhones — including new foods, animals and gender-neutral families
This warrants two digital thumbs way up.
Craving fresh ways to express yourself pictorially? Not to fear: iPhone users will soon be able to enhance their graphic vocabulary with the addition of a whopping 118 new emojis, including a phoenix, a shaking head, and four gender-neutral families.
The emojis are available as part of a beta version of the new IOS 17.4, slated to drop sometime this Spring.
“It’s likely that the final public release of iOS 17.4 will come to users in March or April 2024,” said Keith Broni, 32, the editor-in-chief of the reference site Emojipedia, which approved the latest additions, per the Daily Mail.
Dubbed 15.1, the emoji expansion pack — versions of which will also be available on Samsung and other devices — is “drawn from Unicode’s September 2023 recommendations,” per the Emojipedia boss.
They notably include “six brand new emoji concepts”: A head shaking horizontally, a head shaking vertically, a phoenix, lime, brown mushroom and broken chain.
In line with Apple’s ongoing — and divisive — efforts to make digital discourse more inclusive, the compendium also features four gender-neutral family emojis, each of which sports an androgynous mop-top.
The iOS 17.4 beta also tweaks the existing family emojis so they’re somewhat controversially devoid of color.
“Instead of displaying colorful people emojis alongside one another, all of the family emojis now display different combinations of white silhouettes overlayed on a grey square icon,” Emojipedia explains. Hashtag emojissowhite?
Also worth mentioning are the six new people emojis with direction-specifying variations, ranging from a person walking while facing right to a wheelchair-bound person facing right.
Each of these comes with all emoji gender options along with five skin tone modifier options, bringing their total to 108, per Emojipedia.
All told these digital hieroglyphics mark a welcome addition to the previous emoji update in September, which included a pink heart, a head-shaking smiley face and a moose and goose.
It should be noted that emoji’s appearance will vary slightly depending on whether the user is using an iPhone or Android.
Broni, for one, believes that emojis’ soaring popularity proves that a pixel is worth a thousand words when it comes to digital discourse.
“They’re an incredibly powerful communication tool that people use to better express themselves,” he said.