Apple is adding a slew of new emoji with an emphasis on inclusivity, along with some notable extras and timely updates. Of the 217 new icons included in the beta of iOS 14.5, 200 include couples with a mix of skin tones, including same-sex partners, according to Emojipedia. There are also new gender options for the bearded person emoji, which means you can choose between a woman or a man with facial hair.
Other notable changes include a syringe suitable for vaccines with the blood drawn. This isn’t the first time Apple has changed an emoji: it previously replaced the gun with a water pistol following a series of shootings in the United States in 2016.
Elsewhere, the Apple brand remains relevant, as the generic black on-ear headphone emoji has been replaced by its latest one. AirPod Max in all white. The review is in line with other emoji of devices that fit Apple’s lineup, including a Mac desktop and Macbook, iPhone, and Apple Watch.
For those waiting for new smileys, there are three new variations on offer, including an exhaling face, a face with spiral eyes, and a hazy face in the clouds – all of which seem suited to our current illness. There are also a pair of new hearts available at opposite ends of the romance spectrum, including a Heart on Fire and a Bandaged Heart on the mend.
These updates are currently limited to developers but will be available to everyone on iOS in the spring. The new emoji (version 13.1) were approved by the Unicode Consortium in September following a change in its schedule and have been available to vendors ever since, with Apple now choosing to integrate them.