Have you ever found Apple’s emoji stereotypical and very limiting? Well that’s about to change. Now you’ll be able to show your emotions through emoji that look a little more like you – no matter your skin tone.
You can also now feel patriotic about the right country
In addition to this change, Apple is also starting to be more inclusive of IOS users from countries other than America, with plans to feature a whole range of new country flags for those wanting to feel patriotic to their actual country.
Although not every flag will be included in this update, we can celebrate a bit as the South African flag is the only African flag included in the emoji picker so far.
Here’s the full list of flags Apple has made available on their integrated emoji picker…let us know when you find South Africa!
Along with bringing new skin tones into the mix, Apple has also diversified the available options on emoji sets like families. Up until now, your only choice was two adults (a male and a female) and one child (a boy). Now you’ll be able to more accurately describe your actual family, with a mix of adult and children options.
The new Apple emoji set works on skin tone, not race
Apple used the Fitzpatrick scale in the formulating of their new emoji, which classifies human skin tone on how it reacts to ultraviolet light, rather than on a person’s biological race.
This makes sense, as the whole point of the new emoji was to be as inclusive as possible, and we all know that not all Indians have very dark skin, and not all white people are pale.
So when you want to pick one of the emoji that has had different skin tones made available, you will now see a little arrow next to the emoji. That indicates that you can scroll through the different options on that emoji and pick the one that best suits you.
But why is the default emoji now yellow?
It’s important to state that these emoji sets are still in beta testing, and this might not be the end result. Especially in the case of the default emoji colour. The reason it’s yellow at the moment is because the Unicode Consortium, the group that oversees the emoji standard, stated that:
“When a human emoji is not immediately followed by an emoji modifier character, it should use a generic non-realistic skin tone—such as that typically used for the smiley faces—or a silhouette.”
The only problem here though, is the fact that since the rest of the options are all skin tones, users predictably assume that the yellow default emoji is also a skin tone option – and are taking offense to it. It’s fine once explained, but that may not be enough, and we might see this colour changing before these emoji become properly public.