Coming Soon to an iPhone Screen Near You... New Emojis!

Unlock your phone screen. Tap the green 'Messages' icon. Thought 37 tabs full of Emojis were enough? Think again. Now there's a whole lot more where that came from!

If you're like me, Emojis are an essential part of everyday text talk. They enable us to visually express emotions, liven up conversations, and bring color to our black and white texts. According to Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist at University of California, Irvine (hey, neighbor!), Emojis have actually been around in Japan as early as the 1990s, but they have only become prominent in the United States within the last five years. Emojis have gained even more fans within the last couple of months, which is largely do to the formal addition of an Emoji keyboard in Apple's latest version of iOS. We've heard rumors that a new batch of Emojis would be coming for years, but we can finally say they're on their way. 

Earlier this week, Apple unveiled a sneak-peek of OS X 10.10.3. Among the new sleek, modern designs for Photos and face-recognition technology improvements, perhaps it is the new Emoji keyboard that is causing the most Internet buzz. The update not only includes a series of new object Emojis, but features the Apple Watch (set for release later this spring), and boasts a better organized filing system, making finding the Emoji you want a breeze. The most notable improvement, however, is the new, racially diverse character set, which allows users to pick from a variety of skin tones on several different characters. 

The issue of a lack of Emoji diversity has been long discussed and debated; Apple has even openly acknowledged it. In November of 2014, the Unicode Consortium announced that it was going to develop more variety. Unicode stated:

"People all over the world want to have Emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone. The Unicode Emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange color or a silhouette. Unicode Version 8.0 is adding 5 symbol modifier characters that provide for a range of skin tones for human Emoji. These characters are based on the six tones of the Fitzpatrick scale, a recognized standard for dermatology."

It's wonderful to finally see the Cupertino company taking steps in the right direction, and we can't wait for the new Emojis to roll out this spring!