It’s official – the 2019 Emoji 12.0 update has been finalized and offers a variation of diverse and inclusive pictographs.
The Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit founded to promote the Unicode Standard, approved final versions for the 2019 emoji 12.0 update Feb. 5. After multiple revisions and a Unicode Technical Committee meeting in January to finalize the 2019 list, Unicode released the complete list of emoji sequences. The sixth major variation of the emoji compendium since 2014 features more than 59 new characters for iOS and Android users to enjoy. With the 171 variants for gender and skin tone, the total new emojis amounts to 230.
In March 2018, Apple proposed more inclusive and diverse figures for the update to The Unicode Consortium. Apple’s 45 suggested new emojis included a guide dog, hearing aid and prosthetic limbs, according to Emojipedia. The introduction to Apple’s proposal stated that while the current selection of emojis provide a wide array of representation, few speak to the life experiences of persons with disabilities.
“One in seven people around the world has some form of disability, whether that be a physical disability involving vision, hearing or loss of physical motor skills, or a more hidden, invisible disability,” Apple’s proposal states.
Apple noted that the proposal was not to be taken as a “comprehensive list” of all disabilities, but rather a starting point for more representation within the emoji keyboard.
Mobile phone users first heard whispers of an update in October 2018 when the beta package was released. The much-anticipated finalized update does not disappoint those who saw the focus on gender and diversity in the beta of the 12.0 update. Emojipedia cites the expanse of the new update focuses on representation of people included in the update.
There are same-sex and gender-neutral couples holding hands and persons with disabilities using a wheel chair, hearing aid or communicating with sign language. The new package includes cultural diversity as well with a Hindu temple and a sari.
The update also includes some new animals– a skunk, orangutan, flamingo, otter and oyster. Other images include new transportation options, shapes such as a white heart and blue square, and bathing suits. Color variety in shapes – circles, squares and hearts – will also be available in the new 12.0 update, according to Emojipedia.
The new Emojis will begin appearing on mobile phones in the latter half of 2019 around September or October with some platforms receiving an earlier release.
All of the new emojis can be viewed at blog.emojipedia.org.