It’s World Emoji day, which can only mean one thing: The unveiling of a number of new emojis based on Unicode 12.0 that are coming to Android and iOS devices in the next year. In the spirit of the holiday, both Apple and Google have offered a sneak preview of the new emojis we can expect to see soon.
There are 59 brand-new emojis coming to iPhones and 65 coming to Android devices, and we’ve picked out some of the highlights from the list so you can see what’s upcoming for your device. This year, there’s been a drive toward inclusivity, with new emojis depicting those who are blind, deaf, or otherwise differently abled. But there are also more animals, foodstuffs, and one that’s sure to become a Monday morning favorite: A yawning face.
Some of the more interesting additions are those that represent disabled users. In the new set of emojis, you’ll find a range of emojis representing people in wheelchairs (both manual and motorized), deaf and blind people, and emojis that represent prosthetic limbs. All of the emojis with human elements will feature a range of skin tone choices — as well as everyone’s favorite Simpsons-hued yellow default.
While the emojis represent the same ideal across both Android and iOS, there’s a clear difference in style between the two operating systems. As ever, Apple has adopted a style that’s more realistic than Google’s more cartoon-like designs.
There’s also been an update to various emojis that gives them a gender-neutral default. The new pack will include new emojis in a variety of roles, including superheroes, weightlifters, merpeople, and more — but all without strong features that tie them to a single gender. Many of these emojis will now default to this gender-free approach, as Google states a default gender on an emoji can reinforce harmful gender stereotypes. But don’t worry if you want to use a specifically gendered emoji — perhaps to match your own job — as you can choose a specific gender instead of the neutral default option.
Both Android and iOS will also come with a major update to the Holding Hands emoji that will allow users to select any combination of skin tone and genders to suit their particular pairing.
It wouldn’t be a new emoji pack without the inclusion of a number of cute new animals. This year sees the addition of the sloth, otter, and more. In this case, we have to say we’re quite partial to Google’s more playful designs for most of the pack, with particular emphasis on its uppity skunk and mischievous-looking flamingo. That said, Apple’s orangutan is quite a lot cuter than Google’s confused ape.
There are some mouth-watering new food emojis too, with staple ingredients like butter and garlic making their debut. Waffles and falafel are being included, along with a juice box, onion, and the oyster.
But of course, we know you’ve all been waiting for the big one — the one we’re all likely to use above all others, because, frankly, none of us get enough sleep. Behold: The Yawning Face emoji.
These emojis will be coming to Apple devices in the fall as a free update for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. The Android pack will arrive with Android Q — though if you want to experience them right now, you can do so by accessing the Android Q beta. If you want to check out the full range, check out the full list of Unicode 12.0 emojis.
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