It’s refreshing to see Apple working so hard to be current, non-conformist, gender-neutral, and inclusive. Throughout the years, we have seen emojis go through their progressive stages. Firstly, they all started out as those yellow, Simpson-like faces which offered different facial expressions and emotions. Over time, these became more inclusive. Now, you can hold down on the yellow-faced cartoons and choose a skin colour representative of your own.
Working closely with the American Council of the Blind, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the National Association of the Deaf, Apple have done this right. This partnership was formed primarily because Apple wanted to make sure each and every single emoji was representative, accessible, and, in general, just correct.
So, exactly which emojis have been changed? In the new iOS 14.5 update due to arrive in the next few weeks, new skin tone variants for the kissing couple variations will be released. Now, there will be 8 different variations. Yes, we accept this is not accessible to EVERYONE, but it most certainly is a start. A gender-neutral emoji with a beard has also been added, with both long and short hair.
Other emojis have been changed in light of the ongoing pandemic. The flaming heart has been introduced, perhaps to show your burning affection to loved ones you cannot see. In addition, we also have access to a redesigned syringe without the blood, to represent the vaccine.
What Apple’s meticulousness has enabled is inclusivity. And we hope it only continues; setting the standard for years to come. Find out other ways in which Apple are dedicated to equality here.